Boots Winter Flu Vaccination Service

Winter Flu Vaccination Service icon

What is flu?

Fever, headache, sore throat and all-over aches and pains are all symptoms that can be associated with flu. Caused by an existing flu virus, it is a common infection in Ireland that usually occurs during the winter months.

For most people it's an unpleasant, but not life-threatening infection. Boots provides a convenient and reassuring Winter Flu Vaccination Service to help you avoid infection.

Who should get the winter flu vaccine?

Vaccination is strongly recommended for:

  • People aged 65 and over
  • Those with a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart, kidney, liver, lung or neurological disease
  • People whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment
  • People with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
  • Pregnant women (can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long stay institutions
  • Healthcare workers
  • Carers
  • People with regular close contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs

Who should NOT get the winter flu vaccine?

The vaccine should not be given to those with a history of severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or any of its constituents.

Will I be eligible for a free winter flu vaccination?

If you are aged 18 years or over, are one of the people for whom vaccination is strongly recommended and have a Medical card, Doctor Visit Card or HAA* card you are entitled to receive the winter flu vaccine and consultation free of charge from your pharmacist.

If you are aged 18 years or over, are one of the people for whom vaccination is strongly recommended or simply wish to protect yourself this winter but don't have a Medical card, Doctor Visit card or HAA** card you can get the winter flu vaccination from your Pharmacist in exchange for a fee of €20.

If you are unsure about your eligibility for a free vaccination speak to your Boots pharmacist.

Customer advice

With your permission we will inform your doctor that you have been vaccinated so that they can update your medical records. This is important as the vaccine should not be duplicated.

  • Being vaccinated is likely to provide effective protection against this year's strain of the winter flu virus; however, there will still be a small chance of you catching flu
  • After vaccination, it takes 10-21 days to be protected against flu. You cannot catch flu from a flu vaccination
  • Blood tests for HIV, hepatitis C and HTLV1 should not be taken for two weeks following vaccination because there is a possibility of a false positive result
  • On rare occasions, anaphylaxis may occur. We have procedures in place to deal with this 
  • If you are concerned about any aspects of your vaccination or about any side effects, you should talk to your pharmacist immediately
  • If you have a condition that affects your immune system or are taking any long term medicines for such a condition, and this is the first time you have received a flu vaccine, you will require a second dose in four weeks' time

To provide you with the most protection from catching winter flu, it is recommended you receive the winter flu vaccination every year. Even if you were vaccinated last year, you should still get your vaccine this year. Contact your Boots pharmacist for more information.

Side effects

Occasionally people develop side effects after a winter flu vaccination. Most of the possible side effects are not serious and will disappear on their own in a day or two.

  • Most common side effects can include fever, feeling unwell, shivering, fatigue, headache, sweating, muscle and joint pain and skin reactions such as redness, swelling, pain, bruising and hardening of the skin at the injection site
  • Rare reactions include severe allergic reactions, nerve pain and inflammation, numbness, tingling, fits, thrombocytopenia (a blood disorder), vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) and rare nerve disorders. Seek medical advice if you experience any of these

*Health Amendment Act 1996