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    Flu + COVID-19 Booster Vaccination Service

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    1 Flu & Adapted COVID-19 Booster Vaccine

    If you fall into the cohort of people currently eligible to receive your next booster vaccine, you may avail of getting your COVID vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time.

    Selected CarePlus Pharmacies are now participating in the Flu and COVID-19 Booster Winter Vaccination Programme.

    This winter, both the flu and COVID-19 viruses are expected to circulate. Flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses, but both can cause serious illness. The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19. That is why it is important that if you have had a COVID-19 vaccine you should still get your flu vaccine. Both Flu and COVID-19 vaccines will be available from participating CarePlus Pharmacies and can be given at the same time.

    If you fall into the cohort of people currently eligible to receive your next booster vaccine, you may avail of getting your COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time you can do this by selecting Book NOW.

    Can I get a COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine at the same time?

    Yes – we will administer the vaccines into different limbs, i.e., the left and the right arm to reduce the risk of side effects

    How soon will I be protected against both COVID-19 and Flu?

    The flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine both start to work within 2 weeks. Please note that you may still contact both of these viruses despite being vaccinated however your symptoms are likely to be mild.

    *Subject to availability, eligibility, participating CarePlus Pharmacies & maybe subject to charge (flu vaccines)

    The immunity provided by previous Covid vaccines/boosters or from having Covid gets lower over time, so the booster will increase your protection by reminding your immune system to prepare for the threat as Covid infection rates rise this autumn and winter. 

    For this reason, it’s important to have the booster even if you’ve had all the other recommended Covid vaccines or had Covid and experienced a mild illness. 

    If you have missed a previous Covid-19 booster dose, you will only need to have the autumn booster dose. 

    You will have either the Moderna (Spikevax) or Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty) bivalent vaccine, dependant on stock and in line with National Immunisation Authorisation Committee (NIAC) recommendations.

    These adapted booster vaccinations have been approved by the Irish medicines regulator, the Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). 

    They are different to the vaccines given as first and second doses and for previous boosters. 

    They are bivalent vaccines, which means they are designed to provide protection against two Covid strains – the original ‘wild’ virus and Omicron. 

    Clinical trials show they trigger a strong immune response. They lower the chance of infection and provide a high level of protection against severe illness from Covid, which could lead to a hospital stay. 

    Covid and flu now pose a double winter threat. 

    Key to the vaccines being effective is giving them early enough. Having both at the same time where offered – one in each arm - limits any delay in protection. Keep in mind that it usually takes around two weeks for your body to build up some protection following vaccination. 

    Having them at the same time is more convenient as it saves you having to return for a second appointment. 

    (Please note that it’s not always possible to offer both vaccinations at the same time.) 

    Having both the recommended Covid booster and flu vaccination at the same time - one in each arm - is safe and does not affect how the vaccines work. Many healthcare workers had them this way in 2021 and again this year. 

    There’s no scientific evidence to say the side effects will be worse if you have both the Covid autumn booster and flu vaccination at the same time. 

    Studies show the side effects from the Covid boosters are the same as for the original vaccinations and are typically mild and get better on their own after a couple of days. 

    Some people don’t get any side effects, but they can include soreness and pain around the injection site, generally feeling unwell with aches and pains, possibly a slight fever or a headache. 

    These symptoms are caused by your body’s immune system reacting in the correct way to the vaccines. It is preparing your immune response by producing antibodies, which are like the soldiers of the immune system, in case you should come into contact with the actual viruses. 

    But if you have a high fever and symptoms which are not going away and you are worried, call your GP surgery. 

    The vaccinations are safe, help protect you and your baby and are recommended during any stage of pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

    They do not affect fertility, cause miscarriage, premature birth or stillbirth. 

    Yes, but it is not recommended for the reasons stated above:  

    Covid and flu now pose a double winter threat. 

    Key to the vaccines being effective is giving them early enough. Having both at the same time where offered – one in each arm - limits any delay in protection. Keep in mind that it usually takes around two weeks for your body to build up some protection following vaccination. 

    Having them at the same time is more convenient as it saves you having to return for a second appointment 

    The flu vaccine cannot give you flu and the Covid vaccine cannot give you Covid. This is because neither contain a live virus. 

    The flu vaccines approved for use in adults in the Ireland this autumn protect against four strains of the flu virus; two A strains and two B strains. 

    Scientists look at what strains of flu have been circulating in the southern hemisphere, so the strains in the vaccine may cover those circulating here this winter. 

    The flu vaccine used for adults 18 and over is known as the QIV and is cell not egg based so is suitable for those with egg allergies. 

    Flu vaccine effectiveness does vary from year to year, but we know the vaccines reduce your risk of catching flu and, if you do still catch flu, it means you’re more likely to get a milder dose. 

    It’s much safer to have the vaccinations. 

    We know they reduce the chance of infection and provide a high-level of protection against serious illness.

    A cold or other minor illness is not a reason to delay vaccination. However, if you have a high temperature or have Covid-19, please rearrange your appointment. And remember, you’ll need to wait four months after having Covid before you can have the booster.