“The vaccine injections cost hundreds of euro, so it’s vital that people know they can bring their children and teenagers to their GPs for the vaccines without having to worry that they will be charged.”

Social Democrats Spokesperson for Children, Councillor Jennifer Whitmore, has called on the Minister for Health to introduce a Meningitis B catch-up vaccination programme for children and young adults born before October 2016, when the current HSE vaccination programme was introduced.

Wicklow councillor Whitmore said:

“Vaccination is our main way of preventing the spread of these kinds of life-threatening diseases. Many parents might feel secure because their children have already been vaccinated with the six in one vaccine. However, the Meningococcal B strain has only been included in the HSE’s vaccination programme since October 2016.

“This means that children who received their vaccinations before October 2016 will only be immunised against Meningococcal C. However, the age groups that are most vulnerable to Meningococcal B are the under 1s, under 5s and teenagers. The latter two cohorts will not have received any protection against this disease under the current vaccination programme.

“The HSE should provide catch-up vaccinations for children and young adults. The vaccine injections cost hundreds of euro, so it’s vital that people know they can bring their children and teenagers to their GPs for the vaccines without having to worry that they will be charged.”

ENDS

10th January 2019