GPs disappointed at low uptake of free children’s flu vaccine

The uptake of the vaccine is currently less than one fifth. Photo: File photograph.
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By Digital Desk Staff

GPs have voiced disappointment at the low uptake of a free children’s vaccine to protect against the flu this winter.

The uptake of the vaccine, which comes in the form of a nasal spray instead of an injection, is currently less than one fifth.

The vaccine is available free of charge for children aged between two and 12 years old.

Drogheda GP Amy Morgan said the vaccine is separate to the adult flu vaccine, which has met with distribution difficulties amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The child vaccine is completely separate, like I said it’s a nasal vaccine, it’s delivered in through the nose, it’s a completely separate vaccine, albeit it’s vaccinating for the same thing, which is influenza,” Dr Morgan said.

Ready supply

The doctor said GP surgeries had a “ready supply” of the vaccine available and advised parents or guardians to ring and book their children in for a vaccine clinic.

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It comes as earlier this week, the HSE denied reports that some 600,000 doses of the adult flu vaccine had gone missing.

The Irish Pharmacy Union previously voiced concern at delays in the distribution of this year's adult flu vaccine, saying global shortages had “serious potential” to undermine the country's vaccination programme.

Last year, there were over one million flu vaccines delivered in Ireland from mid to late September onwards.

Though the HSE increased its procurement this year, there was a significant delay in deliveries due to global supply issues and increased demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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