Lloydspharmacy Pharmacist Laura Dowling administering the flu vaccine.

This Winter, more so than any other year, it is vital to protect you and those you love against the flu. Research by LloydsPharmacy shows, over three quarters (79%) of Cork adults claim that the Covid-19 pandemic has made them more aware of the importance of being vaccinated against viruses, such as the flu, with those aged 18-24 (93%) most likely to claim this to be the case.

However, just (55%) of adults have said that they are planning on getting the flu vaccine this year. 

LloydsPharmacy is encouraging everyone to book in for their flu vaccination now, but it’s especially important for specific at-risk groups, including those over 65, people with impaired immune systems, those with a BMI over 40, pregnant women, healthcare workers and carers, cancer patients and many more.

In addition to the traditional intra-muscular injection this year LloydsPharmacy are providing vaccination for children aged 2 to 18 using an intranasal vaccine.

Accessing the flu vaccine is simple, with appointments available to book now in 89 of the LloydsPharmacy pharmacies nationwide. 

The research shows that since the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic there has been an increase (16%) of people who will visit their local pharmacy for advice. LloydsPharmacy’s highly trained colleagues are always on hand to support their communities and all relevant precautions are in place in their 89 pharmacies making it a safe environment to get your flu vaccination.

LloydsPharmacy research shows that washing hands regularly (89%), maintaining social distance from others (79%), practicing good coughing/sneezing etiquette (82%) and wearing a facemask (81%) are the measures most likely to be undertaken by adults to protect their health this Winter flu season.

While these are all really important steps to take to protect from viruses, such as the flu and Covid-19, there are huge benefits to having your flu vaccine, reducing the potential risk of confusion with Covid-19 symptoms. 

Amongst those who are planning to get the flu vaccine this year, but didn’t get the flu vaccine last year, almost 6 in 10 (59%) claim that this will be the first time they will get the flu vaccine. 

Each year the seasonal flu vaccine contains four common influenza virus strains. The flu virus changes each year and therefore a new flu vaccine must be administered each year. Seasonal flu vaccine helps a person’s immune system to produce antibodies to the flu virus. 

As people return to work, school & college over the coming weeks, people across the country need to make a collective effort to minimize the spread of the flu.

By having the vaccination this will help support our healthcare system and reduce unnecessary strain on GPs and healthcare facilities over the coming months.

Denis O’Driscoll, LloydsPharmacy Superintendent pharmacist said: “We are encouraging the at-risk groups as always, but now more than ever we are calling on those who fall outside of those categories to play their part.

“While it is really promising to see that almost three quarters of adults surveyed said that the Covid-19 pandemic has made them more aware of the importance of being vaccinated against viruses, such as the flu, there is a disconnect, with just under half (48%) of people saying that they are planning on getting the flu vaccine this year.

“In order for the vaccine to be as effective as possible, we need as many of the population as possible to get vaccinated. This will have a really positive impact, as getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you: loved ones, family and the community, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions. Make sure to contact your local LloydsPharmacy to book your flu vaccination appointment with one of our highly trained pharmacists.”

This year the flu vaccine will only be administered by appointment only. A short questionnaire, which is available in pharmacy or via lloydspharmacy.ie, is to be filled out in advance of appointments. This is to help minimize the time spent in the pharmacy.

If you have any symptoms on the day of your appointment, you must cancel or reschedule. To ensure the safety of our patients and colleagues a face covering must be worn at all times & people are encouraged to arrive as close to their selected time as possible. 

This will help manage the number of people in the pharmacy at any one time.

LloydsPharmacy stores are open nationwide. To book your flu vaccination, please call your local LloydsPharmacy to book an appointment.