HSE urges parents to protect their children by registering for school vaccinations

The HSE is calling on parents to take the opportunity to protect their children and not to delay getting their children vaccinated as the HSE immunisation programme commences in schools nationwide from September 26.

Dr Lucy Jessop, Consultant in Public Health Medicine – National Immunisations Lead, HSE National Immunisation Office explains: “Students will be bringing home immunisation consent packs if they are in first year or Junior Infants.

“We would ask parents to keep an eye out for these and urge them to return these completed to the school, consenting to vaccination of their child as soon as possible. Covid-19 has disrupted our school immunisation programmes. We want to achieve high levels of uptake for these programmes during the 2022/23 academic year to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

“We know one case of measles can cause an additional 12-15 cases and we know that meningitis can be very serious very quickly. We also know that HPV causes one in 20 cancers worldwide. Vaccination is vitally important to protect children from preventable diseases such as measles, whooping cough and polio amongst others. The majority of vaccines will be given on school premises but if this isn’t possible, the HSE will invite students and their parents to a local clinic.”

Primary School - 4 in 1 and MMR vaccine

When a child is in Junior Infants, they will be offered two vaccines: the 4 in 1 booster to protect against diphtheria, polio, tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis ); and a second dose of the MMR vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella. Learn more about the 4 in 1 and MMR school programme here.

Second Level School - HPV, Tdap and MenACWY vaccines

All students entering first year of secondary school will be offered a tetanus, low dose diphtheria and low dose pertussis (whooping cough ), (Tdap ) non-live booster vaccine and a booster dose of the Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY ) non-live vaccine, which protect teenagers from life-threatening meningococcal group A, C, W and Y infection.

The HPV (Human Papillomavirus ) non-live vaccine will also be offered. The HPV vaccine protects against almost all cases of cervical cancer, seven out of 10 vaginal and 5 out of 10 vulval cancer, 9 out of 10 HPV related anal cancers and 9 out of 10 cases of genital warts. Two doses of the HPV vaccine are needed for full protection, a second dose will be given six months after the initial dose

In Ireland, all the recommended vaccines given in the school’s immunisation programme are free. Learn more about the different vaccines and the school programmes on the HSE website. For further information visit the National Immunisation Office website www.immunisation.ie


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