Research carried out reveals that there has been an increase in Irish adults who plan to get the flu vaccine this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A study carried out by pharmaceutical company LloydsPharmacy has found that 6 in 10 (61%) adults have made changes to their life to help make their health more of a priority since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The company launched a health index to track progress related to these positive changes people are making to their health.

The Winter Health Index was created to monitor people’s changes in attitudes and actions surrounding healthier living, preventative health measures, and a better understanding of their overall health. 

The first index revealed that there is an increase in people planning to get the flu vaccine this year as 57% of the public plan to get the flu vaccine, an increase of 11% on last year's figures.

Research also shows that 4 in 10 adults (40%) claim they are more likely to get the flu vaccine this year specifically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A deeper look at the figures shows that 82% of those over the age of 65 are planning to get the flu vaccine and 12% of people have started taking vitamins or supplements as a result of the pandemic.

Two-thirds of adults (66%) currently take a daily vitamin or regularly take supplements with the incidence highest in those aged 18-44. According to LlyodsPharmacy, this is backed by trends in their stores which saw an increase of 20% in vitamin sales over the last year, the most popular being vitamin C, vitamin D and multivitamins. 

The survey also found that two-thirds of those who have prioritized their health more since COVID-19 are eating healthier, with just over half (51%) spending more time outdoors. 

According to the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) the seasonal flu vaccine protects against four strains of the flu virus.

The vaccine is available every year to adults and children at risk of flu and a new vaccine is required every fall due to the strains of the flu virus changing.