A rescheduled Swine Flu Vaccination Clinic will take place in Buncrana on Tuesday 26th January, in the Gateway Hotel.
The clinics which were due to take place in Buncrana last week (Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th January) were cancelled due to the severe weather conditions.
Appointments for the clinic on Tuesday 26th can be booked online at www.swineflu.ie or by calling (071) 982 2090.
Tag Archive for Swine Flu
Due to the poor weather conditions, the Swine Flu Clinics in Nazareth House, Sligo and in St Conals Hospital, Letterkenny closed at lunchtime today and will remain closed for the rest of the week.
People who have made appointments for this week are asked to re-book their appointments for next week.
Appointments can be booked online at www.swineflu.ie or by calling (071) 982 2090 for Donegal or (071) 985 6663 for Sligo and Leitrim. The Clinics will re-open on Monday 11th January.
Following the emergence of the Swine Flu pandemic in April this year, the HSE on May 1st set up a dedicated 24-hour Flu Information Line, Freephone 1800 94 1100, in response to demand from the public for information about Swine Flu.
The Flu Information Line offers recorded, up-to-date information about flu symptoms, what to do if you are worried you may have contracted the virus and other useful information which was updated regularly throughout the year as the pandemic evolved.
The HSE’s automated Flu Information Line received a total of 104,000 calls between 1st May and 23rd December this year. Calls to the Flu Information Line have been steady since the outbreak of Swine Flu began, with increased activity during July and August coinciding with the increase in cases both here and in the UK, and the anticipated return to school in September.
The highest number of recorded calls was during the week of November 2nd, with over 12,000 calls received as our vaccination campaign began. Currently the Flu Information Line receives approximately 7,000 calls per week.
In addition to this automated service, the HSE’s National Information Line provided a complementary manned response to specific queries on Swine Flu, assisting over 20,000 callers from April to December 2009.
Swine Flu was the fastest rising search term on Google in Ireland in 2009 and the www.hse.ie website acted as the key source of online information on the pandemic in Ireland.
A dedicated information section was set up on hse.ie on April 24th, which expanded over time, and became accessible through a new address, www.swineflu.ie .
The swineflu.ie mini-site has been updated daily, offering clear and up to date information on the pandemic and the HSE’s vaccination programme. The website has received excellent feedback from users, along with constructive comments which helped shape and improve the site over recent months.
Since April, the site has had approximately 1.7m page views of Swine Flu information, out of a total of 8.6 million page views in the period making Swine Flu the most popular web content on hse.ie by far. The most frequently visited page was the Vaccine Clinic list and booking page, which received a total of 208,000 page views, http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/swineflu/vaccine/where/book.html
The HSE website offers a wealth of information on services and schemes provided by the HSE. It also contains a new feature added in 2009 – the Map Centre.
This allows visitors to quickly enter their home address and locate their nearest health services on a map, as well as get contact details and even directions to and from the service. This was a well-used resource in finding GP/health service details for flu cases and in giving easy access to Vaccine Clinic locations, http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/maps/
In response to the pandemic, a wide range of information materials was published and distributed nationwide to households, GP surgeries, pharmacies, hospitals and HSE facilities, and was also available online at swineflu.ie.
These firstly provided information on this new flu virus and how to prevent and manage infection and illness and later provided detailed information on the Swine Flu Vaccine.
Information was published with the support of hundreds of public health and health professionals both in Ireland and internationally, and included dedicated material for GPs and Hospital Clinicians, Pharmacists, Ambulance staff, schools, universities and crèches.
“Getting the right information to the right people at the right time has been a very challenging but essential element of ensuring the success of the vaccination campaign to date. We will continue to strengthen existing channels of communications and search for new avenues to reach the remainder of the population throughout 2010. The challenge for all countries has been to supply useful, informative and instructive information without unduly worrying their citizens. I think we have achieved this goal for the first part of our vaccination programme in 2009,” HSE Director of Communications Paul Connors said.
Strict visitor restrictions have been put in place in all hospitals in HSE West including Letterkenny General Hospital and Sligo General Hospital in an effort to protect patients and staff and prevent further spread of Pandemic H1N1 (Swine Flu) in Irish hospitals.
The HSE is asking that children under 14 years of age do not visit the hospital and that all other visitors only come to the Hospital if it is absolutely necessary.
Visitors are asked to please respect these restricted visiting times and the Hospital security staff who are ensuring the restrictions are adhered to.
Visitors are also advised that they must use the alcohol gel supplied as they enter and leave the hospital.
A Spokesperson for the HSE also appealed to people to refrain from visiting the hospital or any healthcare facility especially if they have any signs or symptoms of the Flu.
Remember, you can get information about the swine flu vaccine as follows:
- From your GP
- From www.swineflu.ie or www.hse.ie
- From the automated HSE Flu line 1800 94 11 00
- From the HSE infoline 1850 24 1850
Public health advice
It’s very important that everyone remembers the simple ways to avoid spreading flu around – now more than ever, as the level of flu is now much higher than our usual seasonal flu levels for wintertime.
Catch it, Bin it, Kill it – it is more important than ever to put it into practice.
Stay Healthy: Stop the spread of infection by:
- Avoiding close contact with people who appear unwell and have fever and cough
- Always carrying tissues
- Always covering your nose and mouth with clean tissues, when coughing or sneezing – CATCH IT
- Always disposing of used tissues into a bin immediately -BIN IT
- Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol based hand cleaners regularly – KILL IT
- Cleaning surfaces regularly to get rid of germs
H1N1 is a new type of influenza virus which causes respiratory disease. For most people, H1N1 has caused mild to moderate illness. Irish Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are more susceptible to a more severe illness should they become infected with H1N1.
Evidence suggests that pregnant women are four times more likely to develop serious complications or be hospitalised from H1N1 than non-pregnant women. These complications include early labour or severe pneumonia. The risk of these complications is higher after 14 weeks of pregnancy and for pregnant women who are at risk of medical complications.
It has been shown that vaccination is the best way to prevent this illness and its potential complications and confers passive immunity for up to six months for the newborn baby.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) has recommended that the following receive the vaccine:
· All pregnant women from 14 weeks pregnant to 6 weeks after giving birth
· Pregnant women up to 14 weeks pregnant who also have one of the at-risk medical conditions
o Long term lung disease
o Long term heart disease
o Long term kidney disease
o Long term liver disease
o Long term neurological disease
o Morbid obesity
The Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, RCPI endorses this position as does the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
There are two H1N1 vaccines licensed for use in Ireland, Pandemrix and Celvapan. While there are differences between the vaccines as to how they are manufactured and their ingredients, both have been licensed for use by the European Medicines Agency and the Irish Medicines Board. Both are considered equally safe, based on available evidence, for use in pregnancy and in the 6 weeks after delivery.
No concerns have been raised with respect to the seasonal flu vaccine in pregnancy over its many years of use. A similar safety profile with the H1N1 vaccine is anticipated.
It is generally agreed both nationally and internationally that potential complications associated with H1N1 in pregnancy far outweigh any possible risks associated with vaccination in pregnancy.
The Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, RCPI, based on available evidence, recommends vaccination in pregnancy for all after 14 weeks of pregnancy and up to 6 weeks post delivery and in certain situations (outlined above) in pregnant women less than 14 weeks pregnant.
The Irish Department of Health and Children and the HSE wish to advise that,
regrettably, there has been one further death from Pandemic (H1N1) 2009.
One adult male from the east of the country passed away yesterday, 18th
The patient had an underlying medical condition. No further
details will be made available by either the Department of Health &
Children or the HSE.
Mary Harney TD, Minister for Health and Children, the Department of Health
& Children and the Health Service Executive offer their sympathy to the
family and friends of the patients.
A Health Service Executive (HSE) Irish nationwide survey has found that three out of four people (75%) intend getting the swine flu vaccine when the national vaccination programme gets underway.
Key findings of the report show that half of the adult population is worried about themselves or a family member contracting swine flu.
The survey, which took place in late July and early August, found that public awareness of the pandemic flu was very high across the country, with 78% of those surveyed saying they would recommend their family members to get the vaccine when it becomes widely available.
The Millward Brown Lansdowne nationwide survey* found that public awareness of swine flu is very high across the country, with 78% of those surveyed saying they would recommend their family members to get the vaccine when it becomes widely available.
An overwhelming majority, some 91%, of those surveyed agree that the HSE should vaccinate people with chronic illnesses and frontline healthcare staff against the virus first.
While the survey showed a high level of knowledge among the public, more information was needed around what people should do if they think they have swine flu. According to poll the majority, some 55%, say they would go to their GP and 6% to their A&E department, however the best advice is to phone your doctor first, chosen by only 37% who responded to the poll.
Most people will not need to present to their doctor or hospital as in the majority of cases the illness is mild to moderate and people will recover at home as with seasonal flu.
The survey found that 53% of respondents feel the swine flu virus will pose a serious challenge to Irish society in the areas of business, education and healthcare. The poll also found that while 50% are worried that they or a family member will contract the flu some 40% are not worried.
Dr Paul Connors, National Director of the Communications with the HSE pointed out: “Since the pandemic began in April, we have been seeking to inform the public of the symptoms swine flu and the steps they can take to protect their family and friends.
“We want to ensure that people know what to do if they are concerned that they or a family member may have the illness and this research helps us understand how the public is responding to our public information messages and identify where there are gaps which in turn informs our future public information campaigns. Since this survey was undertaken, we have initiated a major public information campaign, with a range of resources available for people to get advice on the flu. We expect that in the next run of this survey, the impact of that campaign on public awareness will be measurable’.
“Particularly now as we move into the winter, we need to be sure that the important public health advice is getting to the right people and, more importantly, is being understood. Everyone has a role to play in limiting the impact of a pandemic virus so ensuring the HSE’s communications response is working is crucial.”
Planning for a mass vaccination programme is currently underway and will be a serious undertaking for the healthcare services in this country.
There has never been a mass vaccination campaign on this scale in Ireland before and it is likely to take between 6 to 12 months to complete but this will be affected by the delivery schedule of the vaccines which has yet to be confirmed.
The poll was conducted during July and August 2009 using a nationwide sample of more than 1,000 people for Millward Brown Lansdowne’s Omnibus Survey.*
As the school gates open for another year a Newstalk Nation 106-108 fm survey of 1157 has found that 33% of Irish parents would keep their child home from school if a case of swine flu was confirmed in their school.
In the North West the survey is particularly poignant as the swine flu already closed a number of Irish summer schools in West Donegal, as a result of the outbreak of Swine flu
Some of the comments made by those taking part in the survey include:
‘There seems to be a lot of panic merchants out there when it comes to this issue. I will await confirmation if it breaks out and then seek advice and make decision.’
‘I was a teacher for 27 years. Rarely a day passed than there was at least one sick student in my classes – parents just won’t keep sick children at home, and they should.’
‘I would have absolutely no trust in the HSE’
‘I am giving my children Echinacea and vitamins in the hope the it will strengthen their resistance’
‘I have an only child who is starting School next Monday for the first time, and while we are all excited about starting, the flu is at the back of my mind, She has been in a crèche for 4 years and everything in there does spread quickly. However, I have already got her using Hand Gel and will be packing this in her School Back.’
‘Can’t imagine why a school would stay open with a confirmed case’
What would you do if a case of swine flu was confirmed in your child’s school?
Keep him/her home from school387 33%
Await instruction from the school/HSE248 22%
Heighten his/her awareness of hygiene and monitor for symptoms522 45%
Philip Watt , the CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland, has expressed his concerns over the death of Sligo teenager Darina Calpin – the first Irish victim of the world swine flu pandemic.
He said that it was important that CF sufferers were able to access the H1N1 vaccine the same time as front line health workers.
He began his comments by extending his deepest sorrow to Darina’s family and appealed for privacy as they come to terms with their loss.
“We would like to voice the concern of the CFAI about the death, and our understanding from current advice that all those with lung disease, including those with CF can be at greater risk from Swine Flu than other people without lung disease.
“At the same time we would also like it to be noted that people with CF, including Irish people with CF, have contracted Swine Flu and have fully recovered from the virus.
“We would like to strongly emphasise the obvious need for people with CF to be able to obtain the H1N1 vaccine at the same time as front line health workers.
“We would advise that people living with CF, their family and friends, should neither be alarmist or complacent about the issue. What is needed now is more specific guidance from the HSE to people with CF to complement the general advice that is already available.
“The CFAI recently met with the HSE on these issues and at this meeting we were given assurances that these guidelines will be published in the near future and this is to be welcomed.”
Following the first fatality of a person from Swine Flu in Tallaght Hospital in Dublin yesterday and who is believed to be a girl in her later teens from Sligo the serious nature of the spread of the flu came home today to Donegal when it was also confirmed that six students attending Irish college had contracted the potentially lethal virus.
They were part of a group of 300 students attending Naomh Mhuire in Loughanure.
The students are believed to be from different schools in Northern Ireland.
Public Health authorities within the HSE are monitoring the situation. They say that the children concerned have been sent home.
Another number of students are also being tested at present and the school has been closed, temporarily at least.
With the ongoing pharmacy dispute at its most virulent in Donegal, the speading of another virus, which has already caused deaths throughout the world, is a worrying development.