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We're vaccinating more children in Ireland than ever before

Vaccination rates are at their highest ever levels, the HSE said today.
Apr 22nd 2014, 12:05 PM 8,082 67

IRELAND IS NOW vaccinating more children than ever before.

To mark European Immunisation Week, the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre has published new information showing that childhood immunisation rates in Ireland are at the highest levels ever recorded.

HPSC specialist in public health medicine Dr Suzanne Cotter welcomed this news, but said that it was still important to remind parents that children needed to fully complete the childhood immunisation schedule to be protected against a range of diseases.

Vulnerable

Some people may still be vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases “because they were never vaccinated, incompletely vaccinated or have lost their immunity as a result of age or illness or duration of time that has elapsed since their immunisation,” said Cotter.

For some vaccines, booster doses may be needed after a period of time to counteract waning immunity (these are most commonly tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough).

Vaccines in Ireland:

  • At 12 months of age: 92 per cent of Irish children are appropriately vaccinated. This means that they have had the recommended 3 doses of the 6 in 1 vaccine
  • At 24 months of age: 96 per cent of Irish children are appropriately vaccinated with the 6 in 1 vaccine. However some children are missing out on other vaccines at this age
  • At 24 months: 93 per cent of children have had the MMR vaccine, a marked improvement on previous years
  • At 4-5 years of age: 90 per cent of children received the recommend 4 in 1 vaccine and 89 per cent received a dose of MMR

Cotter said it is important to use immunisation uptake data to identify areas where there are inadequate levels of vaccination uptake. “Reasons for under vaccination should be identified and measures taken to address the underlying reasons,” she said.

All childhood vaccines and the administration of them are free of charge to all children in the country. Details on the childhood immunisation schedule are available here.

Read: Cash incentives make drug users more likely to get vaccinated against hepatitis>

Read: Students told to check that they’re vaccinated after measles outbreak>

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Aoife Barry

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