Thursday 19 April 2018

Rollout of vaccines to protect babies from meningitis B and rotavirus from December

Baby vaccine
Baby vaccine

Eilish O’Regan

The rollout of the vaccine to protect babies from meningitis B and the rotavirus will begin on December 1, it was announced today.

It follows agreement with GPs on the fees they will be paid for the service.

The vaccines will be free to all babies born since October 1 this year.

Health Minister Simon Harris said today: “I am very pleased that I am in a position to add Meningitis B and Rotavirus, which causes stomach illness, to the primary childhood immunisation programme.

“This will make further improvements to public health. I am also pleased that I have the support of GPs to deliver it and I want to thank the IMO for their engagement on delivering this programme.

“I look forward to continued positive and constructive dialogue with the IMO and GPs, in particular in relation to the development of a new and modernised GP contract.”. 

The first doses of these vaccines are given at two months of age, which means that the first babies are due to begin receiving these vaccines from the beginning of next month.

Training has been given to over 3,000 health staff to deliver the vaccines. Supplies of the vaccines have been distributed to GP practices, the HSE said.

The full set of childhood vaccines now include:

in 1 vaccine - combined vaccine against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Haemophilus influenza type b, Poliomyelitis and Hepatitis B;

  • Hib/Men C vaccine -  combined vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae type b and Meningococcal group C bacteria; 
  • Hib - vaccine against Haemophilus influenza type b;
  • Men B - vaccine against Meningococcal group B bacteria;
  • Men C - vaccine against Meningococcal group C bacteria;
  • MMR - vaccine against Measles, Mumps and Rubella;
  • PCV - Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine;
  • Rotavirus - vaccine against Rotavirus disease.

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