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About this leaflet
In this leaflet, you will find information about vaccines for your child. Vaccines help keep your child healthy by protecting them against preventable infectious diseases.
Why are vaccines important?
Vaccines protect babies from infections that can make them seriously ill. Very young babies are most at risk from these infections, so vaccines are started as early as possible.
In Ireland, the vaccine schedule starts at 2 months of age and the recommended vaccines are given over 5 visits to your family doctor (GP) when your baby is 2, 4, 6, 12 and 13 months of age.
Vaccines given to babies in Ireland protect them against infections that are common or are very serious in Ireland. There may be differences between diseases that are common in Ireland compared to other countries.
What vaccines are recommended in Ireland?
Children are recommended vaccines to protect them against infections in Ireland that are common in Ireland or that can make them very sick.
What vaccines are recommended in Ukraine?
In Ukraine, children are offered vaccines to prevent Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (whooping cough), and Polio, Haemophilus influenzae, Hepatitis B and pneumococcal disease before 12 months of age.
From 12 months of age, they are offered MMR and Haemophilus influenzae vaccines.
My baby missed some vaccines in Ukraine? What vaccines should my baby get now?
If your baby missed some vaccines in Ukraine it’s important they get these vaccines in Ireland. For example the MMR vaccine protects babies against measles, mumps and rubella. These infections can make your baby very sick. Measles can cause pneumonia, and inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).
What are the differences between the vaccines given in Ukraine and the vaccines given in Ireland?
In Ireland, children receive additional vaccines to protect against rotavirus, meningococcal C and meningococcal B because of the high risk of these diseases in Ireland.
My baby had all their vaccines in Ukraine, what other vaccines are recommended for my baby here in Ireland?
If your baby is younger than 8 months they are recommended
If your baby is younger than 12 months they are recommended
- meningococcal C and
- meningococcal B vaccines
If your baby is older than 12 months they are recommended
- MMR (measles, mumps and rubella),
- meningococcal C
- meningococcal B (up to the age of 2 years) and
- pneumococcal (up to the age of 2 years)
What diseases do these additional vaccines protect your baby against?
Rotavirus oral vaccine
Rotavirus is a viral infection which causes diarrhoea and vomiting in infants and young children. Most children will recover at home but some need to be admitted to hospital. Around 880 children under the age of 5 were admitted to hospital with rotavirus infection every year in Ireland before the rotavirus vaccine was introduced. This number has fallen dramatically since the rotavirus vaccine was introduced.
Meningococcal B (MenB) vaccine
The MenB vaccine helps to protect your child from meningococcal B disease. This is a serious bacterial infection which can cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining around the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Meningococcal B causes most of the infections and deaths from meningitis of young children in Ireland.
Meningococcal C (MenC) vaccine
The MenC vaccine helps to protect your child from meningococcal C disease. This is also a serious bacterial infection which can cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining around the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning).
What are the side effects of these vaccines?
Side effects after the vaccines should last for a few days only.
After the rotavirus oral vaccine your child may have mild diarrhoea. Very rarely they may have tummy pain or develop a rash.
After the MenB vaccine your child may develop a fever (high temperature) or may have discomfort, redness and swelling where the injection was given. Occasionally children may have a very high fever.
After the MenC vaccine your child may have discomfort, redness and swelling where the injection was given or have a fever or may be irritable.
Where can I get my baby vaccinated?
In Ireland, family doctors (GP) provide vaccination for children.
How do I make an appointment?
You will need to find a GP.
Find a GP near you
What happens at the vaccination visit?
Before giving the vaccines, the GP or Practice Nurse will speak to you about the vaccines your baby needs and talk to you about each vaccine.
It is important to bring any vaccination record you have for your baby when you go to the vaccination clinic.
Do I have to pay for vaccination?
No, vaccination is free in Ireland.
Are any vaccines recommended for older children?
When children are in school they are recommended vaccines.
In Junior Infants (age 5)
The MMR and a booster dose of 4 in 1 (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (whooping cough), Polio) vaccines are offered in school.
In 1st year of secondary school (age 12)
The HPV, MenACWY (meningococcal ACWY) and a booster dose of Tdap (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (whooping cough)) vaccines are offered in school.
I have some questions about vaccination, who can I talk to?
If you have questions about the vaccines for your child, you can talk to your GP (Doctor) or Practice Nurse.
This page was added on 30 March 2022