Meningitis booster jab for first years
FIRST year second-level pupils are to be given a booster shot to protect them from one of the most dangerous strains of meningitis, writes Eilish O'Regan.
The booster Meningitis C shot is being added to the immunisation schedule because of evidence that the effect of the vaccine given to babies can wane over time.
This vaccine will be given at the same time as the second dose of the cervical cancer vaccine for girls and in the second or third term for boys.
The cancer vaccine, to protect girls against the HPV virus, has a take-up rate of 84pc.
Dr Kevin Kelleher of the HSE said that 97pc of first year girls and 93pc of sixth years who received a first dose of HPV vaccine completed the three dose schedule. "These figures are better, or as good as many other countries and are a great credit to the staff of the vaccination teams," he said.