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The figures, which account for the years 2010 to 2016, show that over this period the HSE spent €1.224 million on advertisements for flu vaccines on radio and in print media.
According to the figures, which were provided to Fine Gael Deputy Tony McLoughlin, the highest annual expenditure on advertisements was in 2016, when a total of €381,000 was spent.
The total comprised €250,000 expended promoting the HSE’s Winter Initiative in the radio and press and a further €131,000 spent on advertisements in the print media.
The next-highest figure was in 2010, when the annual expenditure on advertising the immunisation programme was €250,000.
Regarding the remaining years, the breakdown is as follows: €140,000 (2011); €105,000 (2012); €94,000 (2013); €140,000 (2014); and €114,000 (2015).
All of the figures related to spending in radio and print.
A spokesperson for the HSE clarified to the Medical Independent (MI) that the Executive does not advertise all of its immunisation programmes.
“The childhood schedule, for example, is a routine matter with direct contact with parents regarding their babies,” the spokesperson told MI.
The spokesperson confirmed the total advertising expenditure was on promoting the flu vaccine.
In its campaign, the HSE strongly recommends that the following groups receive the flu vaccine: People aged 65 years and over; those with a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart, kidney, liver, lung or neurological disease; people whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment; people with a body mass index over 40; pregnant women; residents of nursing homes and other long-stay institutions; healthcare workers; carers; and people with regular close contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs.