All children in Ireland aged between two and 12 will be able to get the flu vaccine for free.

Health Minister Simon Harris has confirmed the news which will also see anyone up to the age of 69 in an “at-risk” group get the jab free of charge.

Minister Harris said the no charge already applies to those aged 70 and over.

Making the announcement, he said: “I have decided to make flu vaccine free to all children aged 2-12 this year and all of those in the defined at-risk groups from 6 months to 69 years.

“All persons aged over 70 already have access without charges.

“This expanded free access is really important in context of Covid-19.”

The Government said further information will be provided when arrangements have been finalised.

In a statement, Mr Harris added: “A resurgence of COVID-19 during the coming flu season could present a significant challenge to the delivery of healthcare services in the coming winter.

“That is why officials from my department have been working closely with the HSE to put in place an expansion of the seasonal influenza vaccination programme for winter 2020/21.

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