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All 600,000 children's nasal flu vaccine doses will be available by mid-October

All of the 600,000 children’s doses will also be available by this time.

Image: Shutterstock/Marlon Lopez MMG1 Design

ALL OF THE 600,000 children’s nasal vaccine doses will be available to administer by mid-October. 

An amount equivalent to three-quarters of the adult flu vaccines ordered by the State last year, are due to arrive in Ireland by 15 October, TheJournal.ie understands.

Ireland has ordered 1.35 million flu jab doses for adults and 600,000 doses for children. 

There was an initial delay with the arrival of the flu vaccine in Ireland and a number of other countries this year due to increased demand. 

Deliveries of the adult vaccine began on 17 September and will continue every two weeks until January. 

It is understood that Ireland will receive the vaccines as part of the first batch being sent out after the delay.

The vaccine for children will be free of charge for kids aged two to 12 years between October and December.

The vaccine is not compulsory, but parents or guardians who want their children to be vaccinated can arrange this with their GP or pharmacist.

Speaking to media last week, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said officials want this to be the “biggest flu vaccination programme the State has ever seen”.

It was reported last week that some pharmacists and GPs have been rescheduling flu jab bookings for non-priority patients due to a delay in the arrival of the vaccines.

The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) said some “inconvenience and frustration” has been caused by the rescheduling of these appointments.

“There has been a technical delay in initial vaccine allocations, meaning that vaccine orders have not been delivered as expected – not just in Ireland, but throughout the Northern hemisphere,” the IPU said in a statement last Friday.  

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Pharmacy chain Boots is not currently accepting bookings for patients who are not considered to be at-risk by the HSE due to increased demand. 

Those at-risk include people aged over 65, children aged 2-12 and certain people with long-term health conditions. 

“In-line with HSE guidance, we are now prioritising any future appointments for at-risk patients,” Boots said in a statement. 

This decision will continue to be monitored as the flu season progresses. 

With reporting by Christina Finn 

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