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The Immunisation Programme starts in schools on 27 September

Published: 17 September 2021

It’s important that parents continue to protect their children from preventable diseases such as measles, whooping cough, meningitis and HPV amongst others.

The Director of the National Immunisation Office (NIO) Dr Lucy Jessop explained “Schools will be sending home immunisation consent packs for both first year students and Junior Infants. We would ask parents to keep an eye out for these and urge them to return these completed to the school, consenting to vaccination of their child as soon as possible. A parent or legal guardian can sign the consent form. Vaccination is vitally important to protect children from preventable diseases such as measles, whooping cough and meningitis amongst others.”

Dr Jessop wanted to ease any concerns about receiving a school vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine close together.

“National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has confirmed no interval is needed between getting the COVID-19 vaccine and a school vaccine. We would like to assure parents that it is completely safe for your child to receive these  vaccinations close together or even on the same day” she said.

When a child is in Junior Infants, they will be offered:

  • The 4 in 1 booster to protect against diphtheria, polio, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough)
  • A second dose of the MMR vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella

When a student is in first year of secondary school, they will be offered:

  • Tetanus, low dose diphtheria and low dose pertussis (whooping cough) non live booster vaccine (Tdap)
  • A booster dose of the Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) non live vaccine, which protects teenagers from life-threatening meningococcal group A, C, W and Y infection
  • The HPV (Human Papillomavirus) non live vaccine

If a parent or guardian had consented for their child to receive any of these vaccines since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic but didn’t get their child vaccinated due to restrictions or having to self-isolate/cocoon, they can still contact the school team to arrange an appointment. Find contact details for the school team here on the HSE website.

Learn more about the different vaccines and the school programmes on the HSE website: