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What vaccinations should my child have and when (Republic of Ireland)?

In developed countries like Ireland, and many others around the world, serious illnesses have been virtually wiped out, thanks to large scale immunisation programs. As a resident of the Republic, your child has a right to certain vaccinations for free, and these include:

Mumps
Measles
Rubella
Tuberculosis
Tetanus
Diphtheria
Pertussis (whooping cough)
Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae B)
Polio
Meningitis C

Since these are the most common childhood diseases, and since some of them can be potentially dangerous or fatal, it’s advisable that every child receives these immunisations. While it’s not illegal not to vaccinate your child, it does put them at a much higher risk of contracting any of these diseases.Your child will be vaccinated throughout early childhood, in the following order:

Before your child leaves the hospital after being born, he or she will be given the BCG vaccination

At two months, your child will receive the first of the ‘6 in 1’ injections

At four months, your child will receive the second of the ‘6 in 1’ immunisations

At six months your child will be given the third and final ‘6 in 1’ injection

At 12 months old is when your child will receive the MMR vaccine (designed to protect against mumps, measles and rubella)

One month later, at 13 months, your child will get the Hib booster, and the meningococcal vaccine

It’s only at four or five years that your child needs their next vaccination – this time the 4 in 1 booster, and a MMR booster.  This generally happens in school.

Finally, at around 11 to 14 years old, your child should get a tetanus and a diphtheria vaccination.  Around the same time (generally 1st year in secondary schools), girls are immunised against the HPV virus, which can otherwise be a cause of cervical cancer.

There are other vaccinations, including one for chicken pox, and other diseases, however, these are seen as optional. At the very least, however, you should make sure that your child receives his or her vaccinations in accordance with the government programme. After all, as they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
 
The above schedule applies to the Republic only.  Immunisations are similar in Northern Ireland but are carried out at slightly different times.

More questions

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Injections are necessary - the thing is to just have them and then get on with it. If needs be, have your child’s favourite toy or something else that will distract him while he has his shot.
Antibiotics do not kill viruses, such as the common cold, and by over using antibiotics, particularly when they aren’t necessary, you are weakening your child's future defences! 
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