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Children's health

29th Sep 2023

Flu vaccine programme will be rolled out in Irish schools next week

A flu vaccine programme will be rolled out in schools across the country from next month.

This is the first time the flu vaccine will be administered in Irish schools.

Pupils in senior infants and pupils in special educational needs classes will be vaccinated.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Colm Henry hopes this measure will reduce the spread of the flu this winter.

The move comes after a poor updake in flu vaccinations for children in 2022. Only 14% of their cohort was vaccinated against the flu last winter. A total of 1,400 children were also hospitalised with the virus.

Speaking at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health, Dr. Colm Henry said the programme will roll out on October 9th.

It will be administered via a nasal spray. The vaccine will be administered in both nostrils, but it will not hurt your child.

Children are currently vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella with the MMR vaccine.

They are also protected against tetanus, diphtheria, polio, and pertussis.

Pupils are also vaccinated against Meningococcal A, C, W and Y infection with MenACWY vaccine.

Pupils in secondary school are given the human papillomavirus (HPV) with the HPV9 vaccine.

All vaccines are given under the Schools Immunisation Programme (SIP).

The SIP is part of a national strategy to protect children from infectious diseases through vaccination.

All recommended childhood vaccines are free when administered in schools.