National Immunisation Symposium in Moate

17th April 2008

A National Immunisation Symposium for health professionals was held in the Carmelite Pastoral Centre, Moate on the 17th April.  This was the 5th National Immunisation Symposium and the theme for this year’s symposium was ‘New Programme, New Protection’, as the new childhood vaccination schedule will be introduced in 2008.  The main aim of the symposium was to provide up to date information on current and future immunisations. It also addressed practical issues drawing on national and international experiences.

The opening address was given by Dr. Patrick Doorley, National Director of Population Health, HSE.  Speakers included Mr. Eric Laurent, World Health Organisation, Advisor for vaccine preventable diseases and immunisation, Dr. Mary Slack, Consultant Microbiologist, with the Health Protection Agency, UK, Ms. Jo Yarwood, Head of Immunisation Information with the Department of Health, UK and Ms. Linda Diggle, Public Health, Jersey. Presentations were also given by Dr. Lelia Thornton, Health Protection Surveillance Centre, HSE, Dr. Kevin Connolly, Consultant Paediatrician, Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, Dr. Phil Jennings, Director of Public Health, HSE, Midlands, and Dr. Liam D’Alton, G.P., Mullingar.

Other speakers from the HSE included, Dr. Johanna Joyce-Cooney, Principal Medical Officer, HSE, Midlands, Ms. Louise Cullen, Surveillance Scientist, Department of Public Health, Sligo, Ms. Bernie McNulty, Director of Public Health Nursing, Donegal, Ms. Una Ghee, a Practice Nurse and Ms. Tracey Collis, a parent.

Topics included Pneumococcal Vaccination, Influenza, Hepatitis B and the planned changes to the Childhood Immunisation Schedule.  The new schedule will be commencing in September, 2008, and will include Pneumococcal and Hepatitis B vaccines into the Childhood Immunisation Programme.  A presentation by Dr. Phil Jennings, Director of Public Health, HSE Midlands, outlined how the Midlands has achieved the 95% uptake target for childhood immunisation.

‘A Practical Guide to Immunisation’ was launched at the symposium.  This has been developed by the HSE National Immunisation Office in collaboration with the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre, and many other key personnel.  It is intended for all professionals involved in the immunisation programme in Ireland.

European Immunisation Week, 2008, will take place from 21st to 27th April and more information is available at the HSE's dedicated immunisation website -


Last updated on: 18 / 04 / 2008