Common questions asked by parents
Q Does my child still need these injections if these diseases aren't around anymore?
A These diseases are still around, although they are seen less often in Ireland than previously. Therefore your child may still be at risk. In addition, it is important that vaccine coverage stays high. If not enough children are vaccinated, the diseases will re-emerge, putting children who cannot be or who have not been vaccinated at risk.
Q Wouldn't it be better for children to gain natural immunity?
A In order to gain natural immunity, children would have to catch the disease. This brings with it the risk of serious complications from the disease, as well as the risk of spreading disease to others who can't be vaccinated, such as very young children. In addition, patients who recover from the disease do not always develop lifelong immunity e.g. tetanus.
Q Does vaccination really work?
A Yes. All vaccine preventable diseases have declined significantly following the implementation of successful vaccination programs. Where vaccination coverage drops the disease and related deaths return. Smallpox was the first disease to be eradicated as a result of vaccination and polio has been eliminated from most parts of the world.
Q Why do children need pre-school boosters?
A Immunity from vaccinations given to babies can reduce over time. Pre-school boosters enhance the child's immunity to help to keep them protected for longer.
Q We moved house and my child missed an appointment for a vaccination. Will we have to start at the beginning again?
A It is never too late to catch up on missed doses. Ask your Doctor or Practice Nurse to advise you. You should not need to start from the beginning again.
Q Are there any side effects to vaccines?
A Yes. As with any medicine, side effects are possible but are usually mild. Common side-effects include a little redness or swelling at the injection site, but this is usually transient. Some children may become a little feverish. If you have any concerns then please consult your doctor.
Q Can a child's immune system become overloaded by giving too many vaccines?
A Vaccines are designed to protect children from serious diseases and a course of vaccines are often needed to give the fullest possible protection. The number of injections can be reduced by the use of combination vaccines where several vaccines are combined into one injection. There is no evidence that any vaccine programme overloads a child's immune system.
Q What will happen if I do not have my child vaccinated?
A Your child will be at risk from infectious disease and you will only be able to protect your child from catching these diseases by ensuring they do not come into contact with the viruses or bacteria. However, many diseases are infectious before symptoms appear and some are in the environment presenting a constant risk e.g. tetanus which is present in the soil.
If your child is not vaccinated they may catch the disease which brings with it the risk of serious complications, as well as the risk of spreading disease to others who can't be vaccinated, such as very young children.
Q Where can I go for further information on vaccination?
A There are a number of websites which provide useful information on immunisation:
|Last Updated: 19/06/2013 SiteMap ||