Wednesday 29 March 2017

Demand for swine flu jab hinders measles campaign

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

CHILDREN have missed their vaccinations against measles, mumps and rubella because the programme fell behind as healthcare staff tried to cope with the demand for the swine flu jab.

The HSE will now run catch-up clinics for children to receive the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine, a spokeswoman said.

The programme has been up to three months behind schedule.

Parents have been warned to have children vaccinated, as highly infectious measles can cause severe illness and occasionally death.

Doses

Last November the HSE's Health Protection Surveillance Centre urged parents to make sure their children were vaccinated following a national outbreak of measles, which left a child severely ill in hospital with pneumonia.

The HSE says that vaccination with the MMR is the only way to prevent measles infection, and that parents should ensure children have received the recommended two doses of the vaccine. The first is usually given at 12 months and the second in school at four to five years of age.

Clinics are open until the end of March for people who wish to be vaccinated against swine flu.

To date, 230,000 people have contracted the virus, of which 1,100 have been hospitalised and 22 people have died.

Irish Independent

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