Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring has welcomed confirmation that the influenza vaccine will be freely available to children aged 2 to 12 and all at-risk groups in Mayo this winter.
Minister Ring said: “I welcome this Government announcement to extend the influenza vaccine to all children aged from 2 to 12 years inclusive, free of charge.
“People from Mayo in the HSE-defined at-risk groups, aged from six months to 69 years inclusive, are also entitled to get the flu jab free of charge as part of an expansion of the seasonal influenza vaccination programme for winter 2020/21.
“A second wave of Covid-19 coupled with the winter flu has the potential to overwhelm Mayo hospitals and cause needless deaths and illness.
“Officials in the Department of Health are now working closely with the HSE to put in place an expansion of the seasonal influenza programme in Mayo for winter 2020/21 and further information will be provided when arrangements have been finalised.
“We need to ensure that vulnerable people in Mayo are adequately protected against the flu which can be fatal and can cause life-threatening complications.
“That is why I would strongly advise those in at-risk groups, as well as healthcare workers, to get themselves vaccinated this autumn.”