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Nationwide Walk-In Flu Vaccine Clinics Launched as Influenza Spreads Across Ireland

Dublin: In response to a surge in influenza cases across Ireland, walk-in flu vaccine clinics have been strategically established nationwide to curb the spread of the flu virus. These clinics are extending their services to children until Friday, emphasising the importance of immunization. The demographic most affected by influenza comprises individuals over 65 and children aged up to 14.

The decision to set up these vaccine clinics was prompted by a doubling of reported flu cases within a week. As of December 17, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre officially confirmed 631 cases, with a significant increase from the previous week’s 283 cases. Hospital admissions due to influenza this season have reached 454, totaling 1,457 confirmed cases since October.

Children, particularly those aged 2–17, can avail themselves of the nasal flu vaccine free of charge at the 38 walk-in clinics operating nationwide. With vaccines available today and tomorrow, health authorities anticipate a further rise in influenza cases in the upcoming weeks.

Dr. Aparna Keegan, a consultant in public health medicine at the HSE’s National Immunisation Office, stressed the urgency of utilising walk-in clinics to proactively manage the anticipated surge in cases. Given the heightened socialisation during this period, the risk of disease transmission is considerable. Recognising the severity of flu symptoms in children, including fever, muscle pain, headache, and fatigue, Dr. Keegan emphasised the preventive role of vaccination.

Highlighting the societal responsibility, Dr. Keegan urged vaccination for all children to protect not only themselves but also their siblings, parents, and elderly grandparents from the potential spread of the disease. The walk-in clinics offer a convenient and accessible means to ensure widespread immunisation and minimise the impact of the flu on the community.

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