Immunisation - More Protection for your Children

 

A new childhood immunisation schedule has been introduced for all babies born on or after July 1st 2008. The new childhood schedule has been recommended by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland and is in line with best international practice.

Babies will receive their first dose of the new vaccines when they are two months of age i.e. on or after September 1st 2008.   The additional vaccines will protect babies against two serious diseases - Pneumococcal disease which can cause meningitis, septicaemia (blood poisoning) and pneumonia and Hepatitis B infection that affects the liver and can cause lifelong liver disease. The childhood immunisation schedule is provided by General Practitioners and is free of charge to all children.

In addition to the new childhood schedule there is a pneumococcal vaccine catch up campaign for all children under two years of age. This is because pneumococcal disease is most common in this age group.

Click on the link below to listen to the December 2008 HSE Pneumococcal Catch-Up Campaign Radio announcement.

The National Immunisation Office (NIO) has produced a range of information materials about the catch up campaign for parents and health professionals and will also run a media campaign.

Information leaflets for parents can be downloaded from www.immunisation.ie or can be ordered from www.healthinfo.ie or from local health offices. The HSE National Immunisation Office has produced a detailed information pack which contains posters, leaflets, booklets and fridge magnets, all of which are designed to help health professionals involved in immunisation deal with issues related to the new schedule.

Dr. Brenda Corcoran, HSE Consultant in Public Health Medicine, says“Immunisation is a proven safe and effective way of protecting children against certain diseases.The decision to immunise your child is never simple. Information can often be confusing, made worse by stories in the press and on TV. This improved immunisation programme offers parents the best protection possible against childhood diseases.  The HSE National Immunisation Office has been preparing for this improved immunisation programme and over 2000 health professionals have attended training sessions to enable them to implement the programme.”

Dr. Kevin Kelleher, Assistant National Director for Population Health added“Immunisation is one of the best ways of protecting your child against serious disease. Once children have been immunised their bodies can fight those diseases if they come into contact with them. If a child is not immunised they will be at risk from catching the disease and will rely on other people immunising their children to avoid becoming infected. I would urge all parents to contact their GP and ensure that their child receives their scheduled immunisations.”

Radio and print advertisements will start from the second week of September asking parents of children born in particular months to attend their GP. The advertisements will change each month to cover all children less than two years of age.

Further information is also available from the National Information Line 1850 24 1850 or on the HSE national immunisation website www.immunisation.ie Information about childhood immunisations has been translated into 10 different languages and is also available on this website.

ENDS

Note to Editors & further information details


Childhood Immunisation Schedule
 

Babies born on or before

30th June 2008

Babies born on or after

1st July 2008

2 months 5 in 1 + Men C 6 in 1 + PCV
4 months 5 in 1 + Men C 6 in 1 + Men C
6 months 5 in 1 + Men C 6 in 1 + PCV + Men C
12 months MMR + Hib MMR + PCV
13 months - Men C + Hib

5 in 1    Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio and Haemophilus Influenzae B vaccines

6 in 1    Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus Influenzae B and Hepatitis B vaccines

Men C   Meningococcal C vaccine

Hib       Haemophilus Influenzae B vaccine

MMR    Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine

Further details of Pneumococcal Vaccine (PCV) Catch up campaign

All children born between 2nd September 2006 and 30th June 2008 should receive 1-2 doses of PCV depending on their age;

  • Children born between 2nd September 2006 and 29th February 2008 require one dose of PCV at an additional GP visit
  • Children born between 1st March 2008 and 30th June 2008 require two doses of PCV - one at their routine 6 month visit (one additional injection) and one at an additional GP visit

 

Last updated on: 06 / 11 / 2008