THE HSE National Immunisation Office last week launched a new guide to childhood immunisation for parents as the latest figures show that while overall immunisation uptake rates are improving, parents need to ensure that children are seen five times by their GP for immunisation in the first 13 months of life to be fully protected.
The guide has been produced as a response to the drop in the reported number of children receiving their Hib booster, as well as their third doses of PCV and Men C vaccines which they receive at 12 and 13 months of age, according to head of the HSE National Immunisation Office, Dr Brenda Corcoran.
“The guide aims to remind parents that five visits to a GP are necessary in the first 13 months of a child’s life to ensure that they are fully protected against a range of serious, but preventable, diseases. The importance of completing five GP visits is being reinforced by the HSE through a series of information materials, including posters, fridge magnets, and ‘immunisation passports’ for parents to keep records of what vaccines their children have received. These will be available from public health nurses when they visit parents of new born babies for the first time, and available to download from www.hse.ie,” explained Dr Corcoran.
The publication of ‘Your child’s immunisation – a guide for parents’ coincides with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) European Immunisation Week.