Medical Q&As

Influenza vaccine - am I protected?

I am an American student travelling to Ireland in the spring. I have had a flu vaccination here in October, but wasn't sure if it would be effective for the flu strains present in Ireland this year, and if I needed to get any other vaccinations before travelling.

The influenza vaccine that you received in the USA is exactly the same as the one administered here in Ireland. It is a trivalent vaccine, which means it contains protection against three strains of virus. It protects against two strains of influenza A and one strain of influenza B. The vaccine varies from year to year depending on the strains of virus that are circulating. The Virus Reference Laboratory in UCD has isolated two cases of influenza virus in recent weeks, one being influenza A and the other influenza B. I donít have any information on the precise strains of virus that have been isolated. However, we have not experienced a significant increase in the level of influenza infection in Ireland this winter. It is not unusual to have sporadic cases of influenza without a major outbreak occurring. With regard to the second part of your question you do not require any additional vaccinations before travelling to Ireland, assuming that you have completed the normal course of vaccines that are recommended in the USA e.g. measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus etc.