Flu vaccine uptake of 70% among older people in 2020

Roscommon registered lowest figures nationally, with vaccination rate just above 54%

Circulation of flu viruses across Europe is expected in the coming weeks. File photograph: Getty

Circulation of flu viruses across Europe is expected in the coming weeks. File photograph: Getty

 

Seven out of 10 older people received the flu vaccine last year, the highest figure on record, according to new figures.

Uptake of the vaccine by over-65s varied considerably across the State, from 96.1 per cent in Dublin southeast to under 60 per cent in six areas – Roscommon, north Tipperary/east Limerick, Dublin south city, Dublin west, Laois/Offaly and Meath.

Roscommon had the lowest figures nationally, with an uptake of 54.2 per cent, according to data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC).

Ironically, there was no flu season in Ireland last winter due to the protective influence of Covid-19 pandemic measures.

Where to get it?

The 70.5 per cent update in the 2020/21 season compared to 58.9 per cent in 2019/20 and 68.5 2018/19.

Since September 2020, the flu vaccine has been provided to all over-65s free of charge, in GP surgeries and pharmacies.

The Health Service Executive is asking parents to have their children avail of the free vaccine this winter.

The child flu vaccine, which is administered by spraying in the nostrils, is available free to all children aged two to 17 years, through participating GPs and pharmacists.

According to the HPSC, there is as yet no evidence of flu circulating this winter in Ireland. Globally, flu virus is on the increase but at low levels.

Circulation of flu viruses across Europe is expected in the coming weeks and months, it says.