https://www2.hse.ie/babies-children/vaccines-your-child/

Vaccines for your child

Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect your child against certain diseases. These diseases can cause serious illness or even death.

How vaccines work

When your child is given a vaccine, their immune system makes antibodies. These antibodies remain in the body.

If your child comes in contact with an infection in the future, the antibodies stop them from getting sick.

Vaccine safety

As a parent, you might not like the fact that your child has to get an injection.

But vaccinations:

are quick, safe and effective protect your child from disease help your child to fight diseases

If you do not vaccinate your child, there is a chance they could become very ill, or even die.

Be ready with a feed or a hug for your child and the vaccination will be forgotten soon afterwards.

Vaccines your child will get

At 2 months

PCV13 (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/hcpinfo/othervaccines/pneumo/)

MenB vaccine (meningococcal B vaccine) (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/hcpinfo/othervaccines/meningococcalb/)

Rotavirus oral vaccine (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/hcpinfo/othervaccines/rotavirus/)

 

6 in 1 vaccine

This is a single vaccine which will protect your child against the following diseases:

Diphtheria (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/pubinfo/pcischedule/vpds/diphtheria/)

Tetanus (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/hcpinfo/othervaccines/tetanus/)

Pertussis (whooping cough) (Link: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/whooping-cough-babiesand-children/vaccines/)

Hib (haemophilus influenzae b) (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/pubinfo/pcischedule/vpds/hib/)

Polio (inactivated poliomyelitis) (Link: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/polio/) Hepatitis B (Link: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/hepatitis/)

At 4 months

6 in 1 vaccine (second dose)

MenB vaccine (meningococcal B vaccine)

Rotavirus oral vaccine

At 6 months

6 in 1 vaccine (third dose)

PCV13 (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine)

MenC vaccine (meningococcal C vaccine)

At 12 months

MMR (measles mumps rubella)

MenB vaccine (meningococcal B vaccine)

At 13 months

Hib/MenC (haemophilus influenzae type B and Meningococcal C combined vaccine)

PCV13 (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine)

Talk to your GP or your public health nurse (PHN) if you have any questions.

More information on vaccines for you and your family (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/pubinfo/)

At 4 to 5 years

Children in Junior Infants will be offered:

4 in 1 vaccine (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/pubinfo/schoolprog/4in1mmr/) – diphtheria, polio, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough)

MMR (measles mumps rubella) – second dose

In Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim these vaccines are given by your GP or practice nurse

At 12 to 14 years

Students in first year of secondary school will be offered the following vaccines:

HPV (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/pubinfo/schoolprog/hpv/) (human papillomavirus vaccine)

Tdap (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/pubinfo/schoolprog/4in1mmr/) (tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough booster)

MenACWY (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/pubinfo/schoolprog/menacwy/) (meningococcal A, C, W and Y vaccine)

School immunisation programme (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/pubinfo/schoolprog/)

Speak to your local school immunisation team (Link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/whoweare/lhos.html) 

Flu vaccine

Children aged 2 to 17 can now get the flu vaccine for free. This is given as a spray in the nose.

The flu vaccine will help protect your child against flu and reduce the spread of flu to others. For example, their brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents.

The flu season is from the end of October until the end of April.

Flu vaccine for children aged 2 to 17 (Link: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/flu/childrens-flu-vaccine/)

COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine

Children aged 6 months and older can get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Getting your child the COVID-19 vaccine (Link: https://www2.hse.ie/screening-andvaccinations/covid-19-vaccine/get-the-vaccine/children/)

If your child is sick before vaccination

If your child has a fever, vaccination should be delayed until they have recovered.

If your child gets sick after a vaccine

Common side effects after vaccination are redness and soreness where your baby got their injection.

They might also become irritable.

A child may have a fever after MenB vaccination (Link:

https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/hcpinfo/othervaccines/meningococcalb/) at 2 and 4 months. Infant liquid paracetamol is recommended at the 2 month and 4 month vaccinations.

Contact your GP if:

you are worried about your child after vaccination

There may be another reason they are sick.

How long vaccines take to work

It usually takes 2 weeks for vaccines to work. Your child will not be protected immediately.

Why your child needs more than 1 dose of a vaccine

Most vaccines need to be given several times to build up long-lasting protection.

For example if a child received only 1 or 2 doses of the whooping cough vaccine, the child is only partly protected. They may still catch whooping cough if the full course is not completed.

Booster doses are also recommended for some vaccines. The booster dose stimulates the immune system again and gives your child better long term protection.

 More information

Page last reviewed: 2 June 2022

Next review due: 2 June 2025

 

 

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