Amy Has A Great Idea!
She Volunteers Herself...
"Stop The Barrell!"
Dylan = Bemused, Amy = Slightly Dazed!
Ha! Mama Caught The Whole Thing On Camera...Surprise!
Parents were yesterday warned to ensure their children get all of the jabs against potentially fatal diseases as figures show a drop in the uptake of vaccines.
The Health Service Executive said infants need five GP visits in the first 13 months of life for full immunisation -- and if they fail to get the necessary booster shots then the early vaccines are worthless.
Dr Alf Nicholson, a paediatrician at Temple Street Hospital in Dublin, said that many parents are not getting their children vaccinated, despite the fact that they are free of charge.
This failure by parents means we are just below the numbers needed for herd immunity -- meaning that if an outbreak occurs, it will spread rapidly amongst those who have not been immunised.
"We need a vaccination rate of about 90pc or 95pc for herd immunity," he said. "But at the moment we're at the 88pc or 89pc mark.
"About two years ago we had a major drop in the numbers getting the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine because people were concerned about the link between MMR and autism. But that's been completely refuted and the numbers have gone back up. But they're still not high enough."
He said the problem was exacerbated by a very strong anti-vaccine lobby in the US and Europe -- but each country was handling the problem in their own way.
"In Hungary vaccination is compulsory," said Dr Nicholson. "And in France it's linked to child welfare payments. So if you don't have your child vaccinated your payments drop."
Dr Brenda Corcoran, of the national immunisation office, said there has been a drop in numbers getting the Hib booster and third doses of PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) and Men C vaccine, which protects against meningitis and septicaemia.
"We have seen a number of measles outbreaks in Ireland in recent years, which could have been prevented," she said.
A new guide to childhood immunisation for parents has been launched to coincide with European Immunisation Week, which runs until Saturday.
A new immunisation tracker has also been launched to help parents keep track of their children's vaccination history while also sending them timely reminders of when a further vaccination is due.
The tracker, which is available on irishhealth.com and iTunes, sends parents reminders when their child needs to be immunised, or needs a booster shot.
Among the vaccines given is one for tuberculosis (TB) at birth, a six-in-one shot, which must be given three times to protect against polio, whooping cough and other diseases; and the MMR vaccine, which is first given at 12 months.
Separately, the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) has also raised concerns over the drop in uptake of life-saving vaccines.
Young adults and children are most likely to carry the bacteria that cause meningitis -- inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord -- and septicaemia, the blood poisoning form of the disease.
Up to 300 cases are recorded each year with one-in-10 patients dying. And 20pc of survivors are left with after-effects including brain damage, deafness, blindness and limb loss.
Clodagh Hegarty, medical information officer, said: "Many types of bacterial meningitis can be prevented through vaccination.
"It is vital that parents ensure their children are fully vaccinated against strains of meningitis and are also aware of the signs and symptoms of the diseases as this can save a life."
- Edel Kennedy