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From yesterday, Monday 11 January, people who are eligible, will be able to access the free seasonal flu vaccine at participating community pharmacies across Newry or at their GP practice.

The seasonal flu vaccination programme is being extended to include all individuals who will be aged 50-64 years by 31 March 2021.

McKeagney's Pharmacy is one of the local pharmacies where you can get your flu jab. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
McKeagney's Pharmacy is one of the local pharmacies where you can get your flu jab. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Participating pharmicies in Newry include McCartans, Gordon's, McNally's Late Night, McKeevers Monaghan St and Hill St,  McKeevers on the Bridge, Boots Hill St, McKeagney's and The Medical Hall.

The expanded vaccination role for community pharmacies was welcomed by the Health Minister Robin Swann: “Community pharmacies were included in the seasonal flu programme for the first time this year, successfully providing vaccines for over 15,000 health and social care workers.  I am very pleased to see the extension of this service announced yesterday which will enable many more people to gain protection from seasonal flu.

“I would encourage those people aged 50-64 years who have not yet received their flu vaccine to make sure they are vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves from the potentially serious consequences of concurrent infection with influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 virus and avoid pressure on the HSC.”

He added: “Community pharmacies will also be included in future plans for the Covid-19 vaccination programme, supporting the public health response to the pandemic.”

Gerard Greene, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy NI said: “It is vitally important that members of the public in the 50-64 age bracket come forward to their local participating pharmacy for the flu vaccine to reduce pressures on the health service over the coming weeks. The risk of colliding influenza and Covid infections must be avoided and I would encourage members of the public to protect themselves, those around them and the health service by getting the flu vaccine from their pharmacy at the earliest opportunity.”

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