Amid fears of the seasonal flu adding to problems with ICU and hospital capacities alongside Covid-19 over winter, the flu vaccine will offered for free to those most at risk.
Minister for Health Simon Harris announced today his intention to extend the influenza vaccine to children without charge.
Minister Harris confirmed all of those in the HSE-defined at-risk groups, aged from 6 months to 69 years inclusive will also be available to access the vaccine without charge. People over the age of 70 already have free access to the vaccine.
The vaccination will also be available to all children between the ages of two and 12 inclusive.
Mr Harris said that work is underway to plan and give effect to this policy as soon as possible, amid fears that the flu could present a “significant challenge” to the healthcare system.
Minister Harris said:
We welcome Minister @SimonHarrisTD announcement about the extension of the flu vaccination programme for the 2020/2021 season & the removal of the fee for people in at risk groups
— HSE National Immunisation Office (@HSEImm) May 18, 2020