Experts encourage public to get the flu vaccination this year

With people across Ireland being more conscious about protecting the health of themselves and their families, Boots Ireland has announced their Winter Flu Vaccination Service will be returning and customers can register their interest now on Once customers have registered, they will be the first to hear when online appointment bookings open for the 20/21 season. This year, anyone who falls into one of the HSE at-risk groups for whom vaccination is strongly recommended will be able to avail of the Winter Flu Vaccination Service free of charge.

Commenting at the launch of the service, Dr Kim Roberts, Assistant Professor of Virology, Trinity College Dublin said, “As COVID-19 continues to be present in Ireland, it is more important than ever for people to consider getting their flu vaccination this year. Although the flu vaccine does not prevent Coronavirus in any way, both viruses have an impact on the respiratory system, so if you can give yourself a chance of preventing the flu virus, it can be a huge benefit to your overall health. If we can reduce the level of flu infections this year, it will greatly help the health system, which is under huge pressure as we enter flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been availing of the flu vaccination service in Boots for years – it couldn’t be easier or more convenient, particularly as the pre-consultation and booking process has been digitised. The flu vaccine usually takes about two weeks to take effect, so it’s better to get the vaccination as early in the season as possible.”

Boots Pharmacist, Susan O’Dwyer said, “Flu has been a topic on lots of people’s minds over the last few months and we understand that people are concerned about the impact of flu season during the pandemic. We want to reassure people that we are here to help. We have been providing our Winter Flu Vaccination Service in Ireland for 10 years and this year, we have worked hard on adapting the delivery of our service so that it is as safe as possible for our customers and our colleagues. This year, customers can register their interest from now on so that they receive an alert when our online appointment booking system is open.”

Before attending an appointment, customers will be able to fill in a pre-consultation form on, to reduce the amount of dwell time in store. Where possible, customers are asked to attend their appointment on their own and they will also be asked to adhere to social distancing measures in waiting areas, to sanitise their hands and wear a face mask during their appointment and while in store. This year the service is free of charge for at-risk groups and for those for whom the vaccination is strongly recommended, as outlined below.

The flu vaccination is strongly recommended if you’re:

  • Aged 65 and over
  • Someone with a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart, kidney, liver, lung or neurological disease
  • Someone whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment
  • Someone with Down Syndrome
  • Someone with haemoglobinopathies
  • Someone with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
  • Pregnant (the vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
  • A resident of a nursing home or another long-stay institution
  • A healthcare worker
  • A carer
  • A household contact to at-risk person
  • Someone with regular close contact with poultry, waterfowl or pigs

Susan O’Dwyer added, “Understandably we know our customers are more conscious about the measures they take to safeguard their health right now, especially when they are out and about. Since the beginning of lockdown, Boots has remained open after being named an essential service. Throughout this time, we have prioritised the safety of our customers and colleagues, so hopefully people will feel reassured when coming into store for their flu vaccination or any other pharmacy appointment.”

Register your interest for the Winter Flu Vaccination Service at

Review a full list of pharmacy services now available in Boots pharmacies by visiting:

Click here for a full listing of people who should get the flu vaccine.