Book Your Flu Vaccination

Enter your details below if you or any of your family are interested in getting the flu vaccination and our pharmacy team will contact you to arrange an appointment.

Why should you get the flu vaccination?

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the four strains of the influenza virus that are most likely to be circulating in this year's flu season. The flu vaccine is available every year from Donabate Pharmacy to adults and children at risk of flu and its complications. You need to get a new vaccine every Autumn because the strains of the influenza virus that are circulating most commonly change each year.

Some people are more at risk of having serious complications if they catch flu.

The HSE recommended influenza vaccine for:

  • People aged 65 years or older.
  • All pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy.
  • Children aged 2-17 years.
  • Those aged 6-23 months and 13 to 64 years who are at increased risk of Influenza- related complications:
    • Those with chronic illness, e.g. chronic heart disease (including acute coronary syndrome), chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease (where the neurological condition compromises clearance of respiratory secretions), chronic renal failure, chronic respiratory disease (including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia), diabetes mellitus, or haemoglobinopathies
    • Those with immunosuppression due to disease or treatment, including asplenia or hyposplenism, and all cancer patients
    • Those with any condition that can compromise respiratory function (e.g. spinal cord injury, seizure disorder, or other neuromuscular disorder,) especially those attending special schools/ day centres
    • Children and adults with Down syndrome
    • Children with moderate to severe neurodevelopmental disorders such as cerebral palsy and intellectual disability
    • Children on long term aspirin therapy
    • Those with morbid obesity (Body mass index >40)
  • Residents of nursing homes, old people’s homes, and other long stay facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection
  • Healthcare workers
  • Household contacts of people with underlying chronic health condition or Down syndrome
  • Out-of-home care givers for people who have an underlying chronic health condition or have Down syndrome. A carer is someone who provides ongoing significant level of care to a person who is in need of care in the home due to illness or disability or frailty.
  • People in regular contact with pigs, poultry or waterfowl


The vaccine is FREE to everyone in the at-risk groups listed below:

  • All those aged 65 years and over
  • All children aged 2-17 inclusive
  • All pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy
  • Chronic respiratory disease including cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma, COPD
  • Chronic heart, renal (kidney) or liver disease
  • Chronic neurological disease including multiple sclerosis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Haemoglobinopathies such as sickle cell anemia
  • Hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system etc.
  • Cancer patients
  • Residents of nursing homes and long stay institutions
  • Children with conditions that compromise respiratory function eg. spinal cord injury, seizure or other neuromuscular disorder
  • Morbid obesity ie. Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
  • Those who are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment including those with missing or non functioning spleens
  • Healthcare workers
  • Carers of persons with increased medical risk
  • Household contacts or out of home carers of persons with increased medical risk
  • People who have close, regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl
  • Down Syndrome
  • Children on long-term aspirin therapy
  • Eligibility criteria are subject to change by the HSE, ask in store for details.

Nasal spray vaccine for children

Another great thing about the flu vaccine is that there is a painless nasal spray vaccine available for children. The nasal spray vaccine is given as a small spray into each nostril of a child’s nose. The child can breathe normally while getting the vaccine – there is no need to take a deep breath or sniff. The vaccine is not painful and will work even if the child has a runny nose, sneezes or blows their nose after the vaccination. This makes it a really simple day at the pharmacy for parents who might have been worried about the prospect of needles and pain for their kids.

Who should not get the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccination may not be suitable for some people. Some of the reasons why the flu vaccine may not be suitable for you or your family are listed below:

  • Persons with a history of severe allergic (anaphylaxis) reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or any of its constituents
  • People with egg allergy must see their GP in order to be vaccinated
  • Vaccination should be postponed if you have a temperature greater than 38 °C
  • Vaccination is contraindicated for persons taking more than one combination checkpoint inhibitors (checkpoint inhibitor therapy is a form of cancer immunotherapy, please discuss with your pharmacist).

The intranasal vaccine is not recommended for the following people:

Those currently experiencing an acute exacerbation of asthma symptoms, people who regularly require oral steroids for the treatment of asthma, pregnant women, children who live with severely immunosuppressed persons, and people with significant immunosuppression due to disease or treatment.

Is the flu vaccine safe & effective?

Being vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu and the complications that can come along with it. The vaccine is not 100% effective but it will greatly reduce your risk of catching the flu and suffering from any severe effects or complications. If you do get flu after you have the vaccine, it's likely to be milder and you will recover more quickly.

Flu vaccines have been given to millions of people worldwide for over 60 years, including pregnant women. Reactions to the vaccine are generally mild and include mild pain at the injection site, fever and chills.

What are the Vaccines being used this year?

Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (QIV)

This year the HSE has procured Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (split virion, inactivated) (QIV) manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur for the seasonal influenza programme. This is a not a live vaccine. This vaccine can be given to children (if the intranasal vaccine is unavailable) and adults.

Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV)

This year the Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) will be offered to children aged 2-17 years old. This vaccine is given intranasally. LAIV contains a weakened vaccine virus that is also cold adapted so that it cannot cause the disease that it protects against. The Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) is called Fluenz Tetra and is manufactured by AstraZeneca.

The link below is useful for answers to frequently asked questions on the influenza vaccine.