2 Most Common Reasons People Avoid The Flu Vaccine

Getting your flu vaccine, is now more convenient than ever before.

Ever chat with your friends about the flu vaccine? Do you all get it? If not, why? Last year, the Health Service Executive issued a statement indicating that uptake on the vaccine was “nowhere near” where it ought to be. Why do you think that is? Flu is responsible for 200-500 deaths a year in Ireland and can even reach the 1000s in an epidemic. So why have we a low uptake on the vaccine?

Here’s the two most common misconceptions we find among men, and the truth behind them

  1. “I don’t need the vaccine, I’ve never had the flu”

Luckily many of us have never had the flu and if you are not in the at risk category getting the flu will probably just result in a few days in bed with fatigue, aches and pains, nasal congestion and a bad cough. However if you are in one of the at risk categories getting the flu can result in serious illness, in some cases require a stay in hospital and may even be life threatening. For this reason if you are in one of the at risk categories you should get the flu vaccine every year.

  1. “I don’t want the vaccine because it will give me the flu”

Impossible. The vaccine can’t give you the flu. The most common side effects will be mild and may include soreness, redness or swelling where the injection was given. Headache, fever, aches and tiredness may occur. Some people may have mild sweating and shivering as their immune system responds to the vaccine, but this is not flu and will pass after a day or so.

At Risk Groups

  • Persons aged 65 and older
  • Those with long term medical conditions such as diabetes and chronic heart, kidney, lung or Neurological disease
  • People whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment including all cancer patients
  • Persons with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
  • Pregnant women (at any stage in pregnancy)
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long stay institutions
  • People with regular close contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs
  • Health care workers
  • Carers


Since October 2011, pharmacists in Ireland have been authorised to administer the seasonal influenza vaccine. These additions to the pharmacists’ role have been widely welcomed, with former Minister for Health and current Taoiseach Leo Varadkar saying that

“Pharmacy-based vaccine is an excellent example of safely making health services more accessible to patients”.

leo getting flu vaccine

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar getting his flu shot 

Reasons to Visit Your Haven Pharmacy

  • Expert Advice – Our Pharmacists are fully trained and qualified, but also our staff have been trained, so from the moment you walk in you are in safe hands. We provide you with all the information you need, answer any questions or concerns you may have and help you to set up your vaccine appointment
  • We Care – At Haven, we pride ourselves on ‘Care in the Community’ and providing you with ‘Expert Care, Made Personal’. Our priority is the health and wellbeing of the people in our local communities. We are happy to take time to explain anything to our customers and patients so that you are confident in making your own decisions
  • Convenience – Our Haven Pharmacies are embedded in local communities throughout Ireland. Many of our pharmacies provide the flu vaccine and all our pharmacists can give advice and information around the vaccine.

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