Who can receive a free HSE Flu (Influenza) Vaccine

The HSE influenza (seasonal flu) vaccines are available through pharmacy free of charge for individuals aged 65 or older, healthcare workers, some care workers and individuals who are in certain at risk groups A full list is below. If you are not in one of these HSE at-risk groups you will need to book in for a private flu vaccination. These cost €40.

HSE AT RISK GROUPS 

  • All those aged 6-23 months and 13-64 years in an at-risk group, regardless of their eligibility status, can receive the Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (QIV) vaccine and have it administered free of charge;
  • All those aged 65 years and over, regardless of whether they are in an at-risk group and regardless of their eligibility status, can receive the Fluad Tetra Influenza Vaccine (aQIV) vaccine and have it administered free of charge;
  • All healthy children aged 2-17 years, regardless of whether they are in an at-risk group and regardless of their eligibility status, can receive the Fluenz Tetra Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) vaccine or QIV vaccine if contraindicated) and have it administered free of charge.

Who are at-risk individuals?

  • All persons aged 65 years and older;
  • Children aged 2-17 years old;
  • All persons 6 months to 64 years old with a chronic illness requiring regular follow up, e.g. chronic respiratory disease (including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma and bronchopulmonary dysplasia), chronic heart disease (including acute coronary syndrome), chronic renal failure, diabetes mellitus, haemoglobinopathies, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease (including multiple sclerosis and hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system);
  • Those who are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment including those with missing or nonfunctioning spleens;
  • All cancer patients;
  • Patients with any condition that can compromise respiratory function, e.g. spinal cord injury, seizure or other neuromuscular disorder, especially those attending special schools or day centres;
  • Children and adults with Down syndrome; 5 Version 2 23/9/21
  • Those with morbid obesity, i.e. body mass index over 40;
  • All pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy (QIV only);
  • Healthcare workers;
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-stay institutions;
  • Carers (i.e. 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);
  • Household contacts of at-risk persons; 1
  • Out-of-home care givers to at-risk persons;
  • People with regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl.

Private Flu Vaccines: This vaccination service is for those individuals who do not meet the above criteria for a free influenza vaccine from the HSE.

1 Only household contacts or carers of people who have an underlying chronic health condition or have Down syndrome are eligible to receive an influenza vaccine. A carer is described as someone who is providing an ongoing significant level of care to a person who is in need of care in the home due to illness or disability or frailty e.g. those in receipt of a carer’s allowance. Household contacts of people aged 65 years and older (who do not also have a chronic health condition), of pregnant women, children aged 2-17 years or of healthcare workers or carers are not recommended the influenza vaccine