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In The News 

An adult in the Dublin Midlands Healthcare region has unfortunately died from measles this week. Nine cases of suspected measles were reported in the week up to Saturday, 03 February in four separate regions, but no other cases are currently confirmed. Seven cases were in children under 5 years of age and two cases in 5 to 9 year olds.

There were four measles cases reported in 2023, two case reported in 2022, no cases were reported in 2021 and five cases were reported in 2020.  There were no deaths reported in any of those years.

There is a very real risk  we may experience a significant  outbreak of this potentially very serious illness in Ireland – especially given the relatively reducing numbers of children presenting for vaccination. In other words – we do not have sufficient numbers  vaccinated in Ireland to confer ‘ herd immunity ‘ in our population.

MMR vaccine Catch-up Programme

The MMR vaccine catch-up programme is for those who did not get the MMR vaccine when it was offered to them when they were 12 months old, or age 4-5 years old in junior infants.

Where it is unclear if a person over the age of five, including an adult, has been fully vaccinated, MMR1 and if necessary, MMR2 can be administered .  A minimum of four weeks should elapse prior to administering a second MMR vaccine.

Immunity and vaccination:

Individuals can be assumed to be immune if either:

  • they were born in Ireland before 1978, as they were almost certainly infected with measles or
  • they have had two MMR vaccines at least four weeks apart, both given after the person’s first birthday.

Note: the MMR1 vaccine, scheduled for 12 month old babies, provides very good immunity until MMR2 booster is due at 4 – 5 years of age.  MMR2 does not need to be administered early in preschool children

How do I access the MMR vaccine ?

You can phone the surgery and ask to discuss this with your Doctor or Nurse .The vaccine is free.

How many vaccines are  needed?

If you or your child has never received the MMR vaccine ->  need two doses of the MMR vaccine, one dose now and another dose after a month.

If you or your child received one dose of MMR vaccine in the past ->  need one dose of the MMR vaccine, a month or longer after the last dose.

If you or your child has already received two MMR vaccines ->  will not need another MMR vaccine dose.

Why is vaccination important?

The MMR vaccine protects against the measles, mumps and rubella viruses. Measles is a viral infection and is very contagious. Measles infection can cause serious complications in children, pregnant women and the immunocompromised.The MMR vaccine provides the best protection against catching measles and preventing outbreaks. If 95 out of 100 people, got the two MMR injections, this would prevent measles outbreaks.

Please use this link for additional information about MMR and Measles in particular , outlining why this illness is important and potentially dangerous  -> HSE Measles 

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