Parents urged to keep an eye out for vaccine consent forms in school

a person in a red shirt and white gloves
Stock photo: Ed Us/Unsplash.

THE HSE is advising parents of first year students in secondary schools to make sure their child gets vaccinated through the HSE school immunisation programme this year.

Dr Lucy Jessop, director of the HSE National Immunisation Office, explained that first year students in secondary school will shortly be bringing home immunisation consent packs for parents to approve.

“We ask parents to keep an eye out and check their child’s school bag if needed. A simple form needs to be completed and returned to the school as soon as possible to make sure they don’t miss out,” she said.

“You will be asked to provide details about your child, like their date of birth and contact details. You will also be asked some questions about your child’s health and their vaccination history. Don’t forget to complete the consent box.

“When the completed form is sent back to the school, your child will receive their vaccination when the HSE vaccination team visits.”

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

There are three vaccines offered free of charge through the schools programme.

The tetanus booster vaccine (Tdap) is being provided to protect from developing diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough.

A meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) booster will be issued to prevent potentially life-threatening meningococcal (meningitis and septicaemia) group A, C, W, and Y infection.

The vaccine protecting against HPV (human papillomavirus) will also be provided, preventing-almost all cases of cervical cancer, seven out of 10 vaginal and five out of 10 vulval cancers, nine out of 10 HPV-related anal cancers, and nine out of 10 cases of genital warts.

“It is safe to receive all three vaccines at once. Vaccination is vitally important to protect children from preventable diseases such as whooping cough and meningitis amongst others. We know that meningitis can become very serious very quickly. We also know that HPV causes 1 in 20 cancers worldwide,” Dr Jessop continued.

“The majority of vaccines will be given on school premises but if this isn’t possible, the HSE will invite students and their parents to a local clinic. These vaccines are also available to students who are in special schools or are home schooled in the same age group.’’

For more information about the different vaccines and school programmes, see