Diseases vaccines prevent

The table below outlines the diseases we provide vaccine for in Ireland. It compares the effects of each disease with the side effects of the vaccine.

More information about each disease and vaccine is available if you click on the disease name.

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Serious side effects are very rare.

Disease

Effects of Disease

Side Effects of the Vaccine

Diphtheria- contagious bacteria that is spread by close contact with an infected person or carrier and cause a sore throat and severe breathing difficulties.

If 1000 people get diphtheria

  • 50 will die

The bacteria release a toxin (poison) which can lead to paralysis and heart failure.

If 1000  people get vaccinated

  • 100 will have discomfort, redness and swelling where the injection was given or have a fever.

Haemophilius influenzae b (Hib)- contagious bacteria that spread by close contact with an infected person and cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining around the brain), epiglottis (swelling in the throat that causes choking), septicaemia (blood poisoning) and osteomyelitis (infection of the bone).

If 1000 people get Hib Meningitis

  • 50 will die
  • 250 will have permanent brain damage or deafness;

If 1000 people get Hib epiglottis (swelling in the throat that causes choking)

  • 10 will die

If 1000 people are vaccinated

  • 200 will have discomfort, redness or swelling where the injection was given;
  • 20 will have a fever.

Hepatitis B - contagious virus that is spread by contact with the blood or other body fluid of an infected person and causes liver disease. Children have a higher risk of having Hepatitis B infection for life.

If 1000 people get chronic  Hepatitis B infection

  • 250 will die from scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) or liver cancer.

If 1000 people are immunised:

  • 100 will have discomfort, redness and swelling where the injection was given or will have a fever

Measles - a highly contagious virus that is spread by close contact with an infected person and causes fever, a cough and a rash.

If 1000 people get measles

  • 1 or 2 will die
  • 50 will get an ear infection
  • 40 will get pneumonia or bronchitis
  • 5 will have convulsions (fits)
  • 160 will get diarrhoea
  • 1 will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) For every 10 children who develop encephalitis - 1 will die and - up to 4 will have brain damage.

1 in 8000 children under two years of age get SSPE (brain degeneration), which may be many years after measles and is always fatal.

1 in 6000 will get a blood clotting problem.

If 1000 people are immunised:

  • 100 will have discomfort, redness and  swelling where the injection was given or will have a fever.
  • 50 will get a rash six to ten days later (this is not contagious)
  • 1 will have a febrile convulsion (fit)

1 in 10 million may develop encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)

1 in 22,000 will get a temporary blood clotting problem.

Meningococcal B (MenB) – Meningococcal B (MenB spread by saliva or close contact with an infected person or carrier and which cause meningitis or septicaemia, or both. (The MenB vaccine does not protect against other types of meningitis.)

If 1,000 people get MenB disease:

  • 50 will die.
  • 100 will have a major disability such as deafness, brain damage or loss of fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms or legs.

If 1,000 people are immunised:

  • 500 will have a fever.
  • 100 will have discomfort, redness and swelling where the injection was given.
  • 10 will have a high fever

Meningococcal C (MenC) - contagious bacteria that spread by saliva or close contact with an infected person or carrier and causes meningitis or septicaemia, or both. (The MenC vaccine does not protect against other types of meningitis including that due to meningococcal B disease).

If 1000 people get MenC disease:

  • 50 will die
  • 100 people will recover from meningococcal disease will have a major disability such as deafness, brain damage or loss of fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms or legs.

If 1000 babies are immunised:

  • 50 will get discomfort, redness and swelling where the injection was given or will have a fever
  • 500  babies will become irritable
  • 10 may get a tummy upset or vomit.

Mumps - a contagious virus that is spread by close contact with an infected person and causes swollen neck glands and a fever.

If 1000 people get mumps:

  • 50 will get viral meningitis
  • 1 will get encephalitis (brain inflammation)
  • 400 men who have mumps will get swollen testicles
  • 300 will get fever, a headache, and swollen salivary glands under the jaw, and

1 in 20000 may become deaf.

Mumps can also rarely cause infertility in men.

If 1000 people are immunised:

  • 100 will have discomfort, redness and swelling where the injection was given or will have a fever
  • 10 may develop swelling of the salivary glands under the jaw (this is not contagious)
  • 1 in 10 million may develop encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) - contagious bacteria that spread by close contact with an infected person and cause a "Whooping" cough and vomiting. The diseases can last up to three months.

If 1,000 people get whooping cough:

  • 2 will die from pneumonia or brain damage (almost all deaths are in children under the age of 6 months)
  • 10 will have fits (15 if under 6 months old)
  • 1 will get encephalitis (2 if under 6 months old);
  • 50 will get pneumonia (100 if under 6 months old)
  • 200 will need to go into hospital

If 1000 people are immunised:

  • 100 will have discomfort, redness and swelling where the injection was given or will have a fever

4 in 10,000  will cry for more than three hours after immunisation; and

1 in 10,000 will have a convulsion (fit).

Pneumococcal disease - contagious bacteria that spread by close contact with an infected person or carrier and cause invasive disease such as pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia.

If 1000 people develop invasive pneumococcal disease:

  • 250 will develop pneumonia
  • 250 will develop meningitis
  • 100 will die

If 1000 people are immunised:

  • 100  will have discomfort, redness and swelling where the injection was given or will have a fever

Polio - a contagious virus that is spread by close contact with an infected person or their faeces (poo). It causes fever, headache and vomiting and may progress to paralysis.

If 1000 people get polio:

  • up to 10 will become paralysed

Of these 10 people with paralysis:

  • 5 will be permanently paralysed; and
  • 1 may die.

If 1000 people are immunised:

  • 100 will have discomfort redness and swelling where the injection was given or will have a fever

Rotavirus – contagious virus spread by close contact with an infected person, nappy changing coughing, and sneezing

By the age of 5 years most children will have had vomiting and diarrhoea from rotavirus.

If 1,000 children get Rotavirus disease:

  • 1,000 will get vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • 3 will need to be admitted to hospital for treatment.
  • Young children need to stay in hospital for an average of 5 days, if they are admitted.

If 1,000 people are immunised:

  • 100 will have mild diarrhoea.
  • 10 will have tummy pain.
  • 10 will have inflamed skin.

Rubella (German Measles) - a contagious virus that is spread by close contact with an infected person and causes a rash, fever and swollen glands. It may cause major birth defects in the baby if the mother gets rubella in early pregnancy.

If 1000  mothers develop rubella in early pregnancy:

  • 900 babies will have a major birth defect (such as deafness, blindness, brain damage or heart defects) if the mother got rubella in early pregnancy.

If people get rubella:

1 in 3000 get thrombocytopoenia (bruising or bleeding of the skin)

1 in 6000 get encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)

1 in 2 will get a rash and painful swollen glands; and

More than half of women with rubella get painful joints.

If 1000  people are immunised:

  • 100 will have discomfort, redness and swelling where the injection was given or will have a fever
  • 50  get swollen glands, a stiff neck, or joint pains
  • 50  get a rash (which is not contagious)
  • 1 in 25,000 get bruising or bleeding; and
  • 1 in 10 million may develop encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Tetanus - bacteria from soil which release a toxin and causes painful muscle spasms, convulsions and lockjaw.

If 1000 people get tetanus:

  • 100 will die

The risk is greatest for the very young or old.

If 1000 people are immunised:

  • 100 will have discomfort, redness and swelling where the injection was given or will have a fever.

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More information about these diseases and vaccines is available by choosing the disease from the drop down menu on the left. We also suggest your read your copy of "Your Childs Immunisations - A Guide for Parents" (2.8MB) which you received after your baby was born. 

You can also read the Immunisation Guidelines for Ireland, National Immunisation Advisory Committee.

This page was added on 29th September 2016