Kilkenny gives thumbs down to flu vaccine
Less than half of the adults in Kilkenny intend to get the flu vaccine this autumn.
A survey by a pharmacy company has found that only 48% of adults here are planning to get the vaccine.
The finding will be a concern for health authorities who fear that a severe outbreak of normal winter flu, while Covid-19 is still a threat, could leave hospitals swamped.
It contrasts with another finding of the survey, that almost three quarters (69%) of Kilkenny adults say the Covid-19 pandemic has made them aware of the importance of being vaccinated against viruses. In the 18-24 age group, 93% said they are aware of the importance of vaccines.
Denis O’Driscoll, superintendent pharmacist with Lloyds Pharmacy, who commissioned the survey, said the Kilkenny figures showed a disconnect in public thinking.
“While it is really promising to see that almost three quarters of adults surveyed said the Covid-19 pandemic has made them more aware of the importance of being vaccinated against viruses, such as the flu, there is a disconnect, with just under half of people saying that they are planning on getting the flu vaccine this year,” said Mr O’Driscoll.
The LloydsPharmacy survey, conducted by Empathy research, showed that washing hands regularly (89%), maintaining social distance from others (79%), practising good coughing/sneezing etiquette (82%) and wearing a facemask (81%), are the measures most likely to be undertaken by adults to protect their health this winter.
This year most pharmacies are giving the flu vaccine by appointment only. For LloydsPharmacy, a short questionnaire, available in pharmacy or via http://lloydspharmacy.ie must be filled out in advance.