Kilmacud Medical Centre – Flu Vaccine Information Leaflet
Thank you for attending for your flu vaccination today. The vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccine which protects against four influenza virus strains. It is safe and effective and does not cause the flu.
Side effects are rare but include redness and swelling around the injection site, headache, muscle aches and pains. These usually resolve within 24 hours and do not require any treatment.
In order to deal with increased demand this year and to comply with Covid 19 social distancing regulations, we have set up special vaccine clinics. For these clinics to work efficiently, we ask your co-operation as follows
>Tell us if you are unwell or have a fever in which case you should not receive the vaccine
>Wear a mask during your visit to the surgery
>Sign the claim form before your vaccine
>Have your upper arm exposed and ready to receive the vaccine so that when the GP or nurse enters the room you are ready to receive the vaccine
>Leave the building after the vaccine but wait in your car for 15 minutes after the vaccine. If you feel unwell during this time please come back in and inform the receptionist you feel unwell
This visit is strictly for flu vaccine only and we are unable to deal with any other issues during this visit otherwise the clinics will not function.
Influenza vaccine is the most effective way to protect your child from becoming sick with influenza, commonly known as ‘the flu’. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over six months of age.
Children are more likely than adults to get severe complications of flu.
Children who are sick with flu miss days in crèche, childcare and school. They also miss out on their usual activities such as hobbies and sports.
What is the flu?
Influenza, commonly called the flu, is an infection caused by a strain (version) of the influenza virus. It mainly affects the nose, throat and lungs, although it can involve other parts of the body. In healthy children it is much like a bad cold; however, influenza can cause more serious illness, especially in very young children and those with chronic medical conditions.
Influenza occurs mainly during the winter months. Each year infections are caused by slightly different strains of the virus.
What are the signs and symptoms of flu?
Influenza usually begins with a sudden fever and at least two of the following symptoms:
> aches and pains
>cough or noisy breathing
>sore throat and runny nose
>nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhoea1.
What are the complications of flu?
Most children who get the flu have mild symptoms. But every winter some children can get complications of flu.
Complications of flu include: Pneumonia, Bronchitis, encephalitis (inflmmation of brain)
Children with these complications may need hospital treatment. Some may need intensive care.
Children with chronic health conditions are at risk of serious complications from flu.
In the last 10 years, almost 5000 children were admitted to hospital with complications of flu. Almost 200 children had to have treatment in intensive care and 40 children died.
How is the flu spread?
Influenza is very infectious. It can spread through the air by coughing and sneezing, and by touching objects that have been in contact with saliva or mucus from an infected person. A person with influenza is contagious from the day before symptoms begin until a few days after.
Good hygiene reduces the chance of getting influenza or passing it to others. Good hygiene includes:
>regularly washing hands thoroughly
>not sharing cups or cutlery
>encouraging children to cough or sneeze into their elbow
>using tissues instead of hankies – teach your child to throw tissues into the bin as soon as they have used them and to wash their hands afterwards.
If your child has influenza, keep them home from crèche, childcare or school until they are well again.
When should I give the influenza vaccine?
Influenza viruses change every year, so a new flu vaccine is developed annually to protect against the most common strains expected to be seen that year. The flu vaccine is recommended to be given every year, before the start of winter. The nasal flu vaccine will be available in October 2020.
Who should get the vaccine?
Children aged 2 to 12 can now get the nasal flu vaccine for free. Children aged from six months to two years from the high-risk group for flu, will be offered a flu vaccine injection instead. This is because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under the age of 2. Children older than 12 years in the high-risk groups will also get the flu vaccine injection.
How is the vaccine given?
The vaccine is given as a single spray in each nostril of your child’s nose.
Your child can breathe normally while getting the vaccine. There is no need to take a deep breath or sniff.
The vaccine is not painful and is absorbed quickly. It will work even if your child has a runny nose, sneezes or blows their nose after the vaccination.
Most children need only 1 dose of the vaccine each year. Some children with chronic health conditions like chronic heart or lung conditions may need 2 doses. The doses are given 4 weeks apart if they have never had a flu vaccine2.
Who should not get the nasal flu vaccine?
Your child should not get the vaccine if they:
>have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the flu vaccine or any of its ingredients
>have severe asthma or if they have been wheezy or needed their inhaler more than usual in the 3 days before the vaccination
>are taking medicines called salicylates, which include aspirin
>have a severely weakened immune system because of certain medical conditions or treatments
>are living with someone who has a severely weakened immune system – for example, a person who recently had a bone marrow transplant
What are the side effects of the nasal flu vaccine?
The most common side effects are mild and include:
>a runny or blocked nose
Some children get a fever (temperature) after the vaccine. It is usually mild and goes away on its own.
If your child has a fever or a headache, you can give them paracetamol or ibuprofen. DO NOT give aspirin and medicines called salicylates to children unless they have been prescribed by a doctor. This is especially important in the 4 weeks after getting the vaccine.
Serious side effects such as a severe allergic reaction are rare.
There is no evidence that you can catch flu from the nasal flu spray.
COMMON QUESTIONS OUR DOCTORS ARE ASKED
Should I give my child the flu vaccine? The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone. Children can receive the vaccine from six months of age.
It is highly recommended and free for children between 2 and 12 years of age, people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant woman and the elderly.
Is the flu vaccine safe? All vaccines are thoroughly tested to make sure they will not harm you or your child.
The flu vaccine for children has a good safety record. Millions of children in the US and the UK have been vaccinated safely and successfully.
There is a very small amount of Gelatin in the nasal flu vaccine. Gelatin is used as a preservative in the vaccine.
When is the right time to give the flu vaccine?
Usually, it is best to give the flu vaccine in October/November to ensure best protection during the peak flu season. However sometimes ‘out of season’ cases of flu can occur, so it is never too late to vaccinate.
My child has an allergy to egg, can they still receive the flu vaccine?
YES! The nasal spray flu vaccine is manufactured using egg-based technology. Because of this, it contains a small amount of egg proteins, such as ovalbumin. However, studies that have examined the use of both the nasal spray vaccine and flu shots in egg-allergic and non-egg-allergic patients indicate that severe allergic reactions in people with egg allergies are unlikely.
Those who have a history of severe allergic reaction to egg (i.e., any symptom other than hives) should be vaccinated in an inpatient or outpatient medical setting under the supervision of a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions3.
We can now send your prescription directly to your pharmcy. Please ask when phoning for a repeat script or when in with your GP.
This has been developed as a measure to reduce the number of visits to pharmacies and GPs during the Covid 19 pandemic and uses a secure e-mail system called Healthmail. We expect this service to continue even after the pandemic until a full national e-prescribing service has been developed.
We have had a number of our patients telling us that their employer is seeking a letter from us to say they are safe to return to work following the Covid 19 pandemic.
While we are happy to provide you or your employer with a letter stating the nature of your medical condition (with your written consent), what we can not do, is indemnify your employer against Covid 19 by implying that you are not at risk of contracting Covid 19.
For as long as this pandemic continues, all of us will be at some risk. The level of this risk can only be assessed by an Occupational Health Physician who can assess your workplace and your medical conditon and provide your employer with a report detailing the level of risk and any additional precautions over and above the usual ones which may be required in your case.
Please advise your employer to contact their Occupational Health advisors if they require assurances about your safe return to work. If you would like to discuss your condition with us in relation to Covid 19 please make an appointment to see us.
During the Covid 19 pandemic our services will be severely restricted. We will not be doing any routine work including check ups, cervical smears, repeat contraceptive pill check, drivers medicals etc.
If you or a family member are unwell however, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone. We will then make an assessment whether we can deal with your complaint over the phone, by a web consultation or if you need a face to face visit.
In order to manage the Covid 19 outbreak we have introduced online GP consultations for our patients. These are particularly useful if you are suffering from possible Covid 19 symptoms and we may offer you this option when you phone for advice rather than a phone consultation.
The process is very simple. When you agree to a web consultation with one of the GPs you will be sent a link for the online service to your phone or e-mail. You will then download an app which connects you to the server. At the given appointment time, click on the connect button and one of the GPs from here should appear on your screen.
Make sure you are in a safe and quiet area where you can talk privately about your symptoms. Remember that online GP consultations are limited as we can not examine you but in the current crisis they should help to keep everyone safer.
If you have a non Covid 19 problem and wish to use the online facility, phone the practice for advice and we may be able to facilitate this.
If you have been in contact with a confirmed case of Covid 19 infection or returned from one of the high risk areas AND have suspicious symptoms such as a cough, fever, shortness of breath or breathing difficuties then please call us and let us know. Do not come to our surgery for advice or without an appointment. Phone first and one of the GPs will advise you what to do.
You can protect yourself from the virus by following some simple rules as follows
wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty
practice good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
maintain social distancing, that is, leave at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever
avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself
Local artist and retired Dentis Dr Gerald Fitzgerald was visiting our practice recently and noticed the children’s corner with the nursery rhyme mural featuring the words “Miss Polly had a Dolly who was sick sick sick…..”. He knew he had completed a sketch of a girl and broken doll which he then kindly donated to the practice.
As you can see from the attached photos the beautiful sketch matches the nursery rhyme brilliantly and is now very popular with our young patients visiting the practice.
We would like to extend our gratitude to Gerald for his kind donation and the colourful sketch is now hanging proudly in our children’s corner (see below).
We are very pleased to have Niamh join us for one year as a GP Registrar. Niamh is a third year GP registrar with the TCD/HSE GP Training Programme. She qualified as a Pharmacist before beginning Medicine. Having qualified from the post graduate medical entry programme at the University of Limerick she worked in Accident and Emergency, Medicine of Old Age, Paediatrics, Psychiatry and General Medicine before beginning her work in General Practice. She is also the mother of a beutiful baby girl Called Caoimhe.