Flu Vaccination 2014/2015

fluThis is LloydsPharmacy’s third year offering the Influenza vaccine service to our customers. Customers choose to be vaccinated for many reasons:

  • They may have previously contracted the flu virus and know how debilitating and unpleasant it can be to suffer from the flu. These patients chose vaccination In order to  avoid experiencing this illness again.
  • They fall into the ‘at risk’ groups and wish to avoid complications in their health that influenza can bring on.
  • They have a work responsibility, family member or care for someone who would suffer if the virus was passed to them.

The Influenza vaccination at LloydsPharmacy is free for some patients or may cost €15 – €20 depending on your eligibility. The vaccine only takes 15 minutes to deliver and is suitable for anyone over the age of 18 pending approval from your local LloydsPharmacy pharmacist who will assess your suitability.

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine contains the 3 most prevalent strains of flu viruses as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).​

Influenza is not a recent development in our history. The name “influenza” originated in 15th century Italy, from an epidemic attributed to the “influence of the stars”. The pandemic of “Spanish” influenza in 1918 caused an estimated 21 million deaths worldwide.

Influenza is an acute illness of the respiratory tract. It affects all age groups and is characterised by the abrupt onset of fever, headache, muscle pain, cough, sore throat and malaise. Influenza viruses spread in tiny droplets caused by coughing and sneezing. They usually spread from person to person. Sometimes, however, people become infected by touching something that was recently contaminated with the virus and then touching their mouth or nose. Most adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before they show symptoms and up to five days after becoming sick.  It lasts from three to five days and can be followed by fatigue for two or three weeks.

Minor changes in the virus are seen from season to season which is why the vaccine composition changes each year and why vaccination each year is recommended.

The seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended for:

  • Persons aged 65 and over.
  • Those with a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart or lung disease.
  • People whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment.
  • Persons with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40.
  • Pregnant women (can be given at any stage of pregnancy)​ Residents of nursing homes and other long stay institution.
  • Healthcare workers Carers.
  • People with regular close contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs.

It takes two weeks to develop immunity to the influenza virus parts present in the vaccine. Serious side effects of the flu vaccine are uncommon. Side effects of the injection vaccine include soreness at the site of the injection, muscle aching, fever, and feeling unwell. Paracetamol can be taken to reduce any of these mild side effects although you can consult the pharmacist for advice on any issues you may encounter.

The following is a list of the Lloydspharmacy stores providing the vaccination service this year. Where possible please book your vaccination ahead of time by phone or calling into your chosen store.

LloydsPharmacy Northside S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Fairgreen Mullingar

LloydsPharmacy Raheny

LloydsPharmacy Lucan

LloydsPharmacy Blanchardstown S.C.

LloydsPharmacy The Mill S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Newbridge S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Crumlin Rd

LloydsPharmacy Longford S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Clonskeagh

LloydsPharmacy Blackrock S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Wicklow

LloydsPharmacy Knocklyon S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Rathmines

LloydsPharmacy Greystones

LloydsPharmacy Shankill

LloydsPharmacy Donnybrook

LloydsPharmacy Rosslare Harbour

LloydsPharmacy Governy Square Carlow

LloydsPharmacy William St. Limerick

LloydsPharmacy Laois S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Dungarvan

LloydsPharmacy Skycourt

LloydsPharmacy Grand Parade

LloydsPharmacy Castletroy

LloydsPharmacy_ExperienceHealth_hi-res_large_logo

Top Tips For Fevers

 

Keeping Fever AwayI am currently working with Nurofen for Children to raise awareness of fever management, a commom symptom of Cold and Flu in kids following recent research[1] undertaken by Nurofen, which found that 60% of parents in Ireland panic when they discover their child had a fever.

Below is some advice to help parents recognise and treat the symptoms associated with fever.

What are the common symptoms of cold and flu in children?

Fever is often the first sign of an illness in children and when your child has a temperature it can be a very worrying time. However, while fever is the first sign of an illness such as a cold or flu it is also simply the body’s way of fighting infection and increasing protection against disease.

How would parents recognise fever?

Fever is regarded as having a body temperature usually above 37.8°C. Symptoms may vary according to the underlying cause of fever, but some common signs to look out for include:

  • Irritability
  • Restlessness during the night
  • Pale with cool hands and feet but hot forehead, tummy and back
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shivering
  • Vomiting suddenly

How would you suggest parents treat a fever? 

Once you have established that your child has a temperature in excess of 37.8°C, fever reducing medication should be considered. You can also take additional steps to reduce fever and increase your child’s comfort by:

  • Loosening tight clothing
  • Make your child’s environment cooler
  • Keep giving them cool drinks which will prevent dehydration
  • Do not give your child a cold bath as this can cause the child to shiver which actually raises core body temperature

When should parents be concerned about fever?

Parents should seek medical assistance from their GP if:

  • The fever is accompanied by a stiff neck, confusion or irritability
  • Your child is between 6 months and 1 year and the fever lasts longer the 24 hours
  • Despite treatment the fever does not reduce below 37.8°C
  • The fever persists longer than two days
  • Assistance should always be sought from a GP for babies under 3 months who are experiencing a fever, irrespective of other symptoms or duration

What resources would you recommend to parents looking to become more confident in treating fever?

Firstly, many parents rely on tactile temperature readings, which is the feeling of the forehead. My advice to parents would be to consider using a good thermometer, such as a digital ear thermometer, for a more accurate reading.

Secondly, it’s important that parents have some medicine to hand in their medicine cabinet.

Nurofen for Children is specially formulated to reduce fever in children, providing fever-reducing benefits from 15 minutes and long lasting relief for up to 8 hours.

To be prepared for when fever strikes, the Nurofen for Children Pain and Fever Guide is available to download from www.nurofenforchildren.ie. This guide offers simple fever advice for parents and is very handy to have in the medicine cabinet – just in case!

Written by Aoife Molloy


[1] Research conducted by Empathy Research, based on a survey of 291 parents of children aged between 0-6 years of age.