Some 850,000 doses of the flu vaccine have been purchased by the HSE in preparation for a feared epidemic this winter, with an extra 100,000 ordered as a “contingency” supply.
The news comes after reports from the NHS in the UK found that the jab is failing to protect vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly.
Dr Mai Mannix spoke to the Sunday Independent about flu season, “Those at risk include people aged 65 years and older, adults and children with a long-term medical condition.”
According to the paper, the vaccine currently being distributed by GPs and pharmacists is just 40 – 60 per cent effective, though the HSE has urged anyone who is eligible for the jab to avail of the service.
Medical professionals admitted that they are concerned about an epidemic breaking out after Australia experienced its worst flu season in over twenty years.
Australia’s health minister expressed her concerns about the epidemic, “People are not just getting the flu, they’re getting very, very sick with this flu. Don’t dismiss your symptoms. The reality is we can’t beat nature.”
People have been warned to be extra diligent. Doctors believe that knowing the symptoms can help catch the virus at an earlier stage.
The symptoms include a fever, body aches, a cough, headaches, exhaustion, slight congestion, a sore throat and diarrhoea and vomiting.