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IPA Launch Flunited Vaccination Campaign with Marty Morrison

IPA Launch Flunited Vaccination Campaign with Marty Morrison

Don’t be left on the bench this winter! 

Marty Morrissey and his ‘Flunited’ team launch Children’s Flu Campaign! 

The Irish Patients Association (IPA) is urging parents and guardians to vaccinate their children this winter and make a collective effort to give flu the red card ‘Twindemic’ of Flu and Covid-19 set to hit Ireland this winter 

Tuesday, 11th October 2022:

Experts are predicting that the Irish health service is set to be put under enormous pressure this winter with an upsurge in both flu and Covid-19 expected.

Today, the Irish Patients Association (IPA) today, alongside Sports Pundit Marty Morrissey and Pharmacist, Laura Dowling (also known as @fabulouspharmacist to her social media followers), launched a new campaign to highlight the importance of the children’s flu vaccine this winter. 

The ‘Flunited’ campaign is encouraging parents and guardians of children aged 2–17 years old to join the ‘Flunited’ team and make a collective effort to give flu the red card.

The IPA is urging parents to book with their GP or local pharmacy this week as the children’s flu vaccine will be available from next Monday 17th October.

In the last 10 years alone in Ireland, almost 5,000 children were admitted to hospital with complications of flu [i]. Almost 200 children had treatment in intensive care and 40 children died[ii]. While most children who get the flu will have mild symptoms, some can develop complications such as pneumonia or bronchitis and may need to go to the hospital.

Children, especially younger children, are also more likely than adults to suffer severe flu complications. Vaccination is key when it comes to protecting others, like siblings, parents, grandparents and those vulnerable from infections. 

Speaking at the launch, Marty Morrissey commented: “As someone who is around the country at various games and sporting events – I see the huge benefit sport brings to kids and communities. Everyday life is disrupted when children are sick for long periods, out of creche and school, along with hobbies and sports – this impacts parents in terms of work and routine. We all have a responsibility to do our part to stop the spread of flu and not get left on the bench this winter so join the Flunited team and get your child vaccinated against flu!”

Also speaking at the launch, Stephen McMahon, Irish Patients Association commented: “Over the last number of years we have witnessed first-hand what can be accomplished when we all come together with a common purpose. As a result of the ground-breaking Covid-19 vaccine, we were able to protect not only ourselves, but the most vulnerable in our society from serious illness. Our Flunited campaign aims to highlight the importance of the flu vaccine for children, to both parents and guardians. The experts are predicting a surge in both Covid-19 and flu this year which will put our health service under enormous pressure; we have a real opportunity to change this narrative and become proactive advocates of our own, and each other’s health”. 

@fabulouspharmacist and founder of fabU, Laura Dowling added: “While most children who get the flu have mild symptoms, there is always a risk of complications, particularly for those children and young people with chronic health conditions. The flu vaccine not only helps to protect children, but also helps to protect others. Contact your GP or participating pharmacists for more information. Let’s all work together to protect the vulnerable this flu season”

IPU (Irish Pharmacy Union) Head of Professional Services, Clare Fitzell commented: “As we face into a winter with the dual threats of flu and COVID-19, as healthcare professionals, pharmacists play an important role minimising infection rates in our communities.  Children are twice as likely as adults to get the flu and are also more likely than adults to get severe complications of flu. Flu vaccination is quick and easy for children and because it is administered via a nasal spray, there are no scary needles or pain involved. The influenza virus changes slightly each year and there is no guarantee that a flu vaccine that your child got in previous years will offer them protection from the strains of the virus that will hit Ireland during this year’s flu season. Therefore, an annual vaccine is essential, and most children need only one dose of the vaccine each year.” 

If you or your child has received the flu vaccine, why not spread the word using the hashtag #Flunited on your social media feed and ask others to join the team!The ‘Flunited’ flu awareness campaign has been sponsored on an unrestricted basis by AstraZeneca. 

[i] [ii] HSE​

To learn more about immunisations please visit: ​

Vicki Phelan


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