Vaccinations & Child Immunisation in Ireland

No parent likes the idea of their baby having an injection… however the memory of the vaccination will be long gone whilst the benefits of the vaccine or immunisation will support your baby for life. With vaccinations come so many questions… When should my baby receive them? Who should give them? How do vaccinations work? What if my baby has a reaction… how would I recognise this and what should I do?

Let me outline the basics… which should see you nicely through your baby’s vaccination programme. Our Irish vaccination programme is a 13-month programme comprising of a set of vaccinations at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 13 months. This service is supported by your GP, so you simply phone explaining which vaccine is due and when e.g. 2-month vaccination due in 2-weeks… and your GP practice will give you an appointment and arrange the rest, you’ll just need to show up on the day.

What are we vaccinating against and how do vaccinations work?

The vaccination programme

  • 6 in 1 Diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae b(Hib), HepatitisB, Pertussis (Whooping cough), Polio and Tetanus.
  • PCV Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
  • Men B Meningococcal B
  • Men C Meningococcal C
  • Rotavirus Rotavirus oral vaccine
  • MMR Measles, Mumps, Rubella
  • Hib/MenC Haemophilus influenzae b and Meningococcal C combined vaccine.

How do vaccinations work?

Live vaccinations are made up of a weakened version of the bacteria or virus responsible for the disease. When the vaccine is given, the body s immune system detects this weakened or dead germ and reacts just as it would do if a new full-on infection were to occur. It begins to make antibodies against the vaccination, and it is these antibodies that remain in the body, ready to react if that actual infection or virus were ever to attack. Put simply, a vaccine tricks the body into thinking it is under attack by the illness that we are vaccinating against.

What to expect after a vaccine?

Side effects such as fever or soreness, redness or swelling to the vaccination area can be common after a vaccination. As each vaccination can trigger a different set of common reactions it is best to refer to your Vaccination booklet (which will be given by your public health nurse) for guidance.

A common question we are asked around vaccinations is ‘Is it safe to take my baby to the swimming pool before he is fully vaccinated’? And the good news is yes, it is perfectly safe for children to start swimming from birth before having their vaccinations. The diseases children are vaccinated against are not carried in water so you can take your child swimming at any time.

Any other vaccination related questions feel free to DM us, email us or live chat us.