Concern over increasing number of 'late' vaccines
Healthcare staff in Donegal are worried about the implications of the increasing number of children who have not had their vaccines on time.
At present, 16 per cent of children are not receiving their 13-month vaccines and 50 per cent are delaying their vaccines by up to six months.
Most children are getting their first vaccines on time but from the age of six months the delays start.
This means that a large number of children are at risk from serious illness, especially meningitis, by not getting the MenC and HiB vaccines at the correct time.
Dr Anthony Breslin, specialist in Public Health Medicine with the HSE North West, said most children were vaccinated on time but it was worrying that over the past year a significant number of children were getting their vaccines very late. “Vaccines are given at a time when they will produce an immune response in a child and when the child is at the highest risk of an infection.
“Not only is the MMR vaccine being delayed, which leaves a child open to infection from measles, mumps and rubella, but the two important meningitis vaccines, Men C and HiB, are being given very late.”
Parents who want to ensure that their children are protected should contact their GP practice to arrange vaccination.