Clare Fine Gael Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Health, Martin Conway, has today called on the Minister for Health to increase the age of eligibility for the free flu vaccine for teenagers up to 17 years of age.
He has also called on the Minister to roll out an information campaign highlighting the importance of the vaccine to encourage uptake.
Senator Conway said: “I am calling on the Minister for Health to increase the age of eligibility for the free flu vaccine for teenagers up to 17 years of age.
“I am disappointed that the national uptake rates for the intranasal vaccine is reported to be 20%, resulting in just 115,000 out of 600,000 available doses being used, according to most recent information from the HSE.
“I am surprised by the low uptake and would encourage parents to bring their children to avail of this vaccine. It will protect children and will also reduce the spread of the flu to other more vulnerable groups.
“I firmly believe a vigorous broadcast and social media campaign to encourage the immediate uptake of this vaccine is necessary and the programme should be extended up to and including seventeen-year olds to protect the population as a whole.”