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Lower uptake of seasonal flu jab

Photo by Peter Byrne/PA.

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine campaign has seen a lower uptake so far with around 3,500 doses administered, the Director of Public Health has said.

Director of Public Health Dr Helen Carter said the uptake so far is “quite a bit lower than last year”, but put down the reluctance to vaccine fatigue and the delay in the Covid vaccination campaign.

The GHA is currently waiting for delivery of the Covid vaccines with a date not yet confirmed.

Dr Carter said some people are waiting for the Covid vaccines to arrive to have their flu vaccines as they would rather wait to have both vaccines at the same time.

“This is where I'd like to reassure people that as much as we have stopped the walking clinics, if anybody still wants to have a seasonal flu vaccine, they can phone up and book in and have it,” Dr Carter said.

“When we get the deliveries of the Covid vaccine as well, there's always going to be an opportunity then for people to have their seasonal flu vaccine done once we get the Covid vaccines in.”

She said the GHA was offered the old style of Covid vaccine, but this was rejected.

“I advised the GHA and the Government here that I wanted us to have one of the more modern ones in terms of that it covered the new vaccine strains that we're seeing at the moment,” Dr Carter said.

“And that's been the slight delay in this. I wanted to make sure that we got the right vaccine subtype.”

Dr Carter added that the GHA has started seeing the first few cases of seasonal flu so the window of opportunity for people to get their flu vaccine is diminishing.

She encourages anyone in an eligible group to phone the Primary Care Centre and book a vaccine appointment.

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