Child Immunisation Programme in Ireland

In Ireland, all the recommended childhood immunisations listed are free of charge.  

Source: HSE National Immunisation Office website 

  • When your child is born , a HSE doctor will give your baby the BCG vaccine at the maternity hospital or later at a HSE clinic.
  • When your child is 2, 4 and 6 months old , the HSE will let you know about the first dose of 5 in 1 (to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, HiB and polio) and men C.  You should arrange to visit your GP for the immunisations which will be given by the doctor or a nurse.  If you don’t hear from the HSE, perhaps because you’ve moved house, you should arrange to visit your GP at the appropriate time.
  • Around your child’s first birthday, the HSE will let you know that you should arrange to visit your GP for the MMR vaccine  (to protect against measles, mumps and rubella), which your child should get between the ages of 12 and 15 months.  Again, if you don’t hear from the HSE you should arrange to visit your GP at the appropriate time.
  • When your child is aged 4 to 5 years, a HSE doctor or nurse will give the 4 in 1 booster (to protect against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio) and a second dose of the MMR vaccine in your child’s primary school.  The HSE will let you know the date of immunisations.  If your child misses that immunisation in school, the HSE may arrange for your child to be immunised at a clinic or ask you to visit your GP.
  • When your child is in the 5th or 6th class of primary school , a HSE doctor may give the BCG vaccine and a second dose of MMR to children who have not already got these vaccines.  The HSE will let you know the date of the immunisations.  If your child misses that immunisation in school, the HSE may arrange for your child to be immunised at a clinic or ask you to visit your GP. (However, the BCG vaccine is not given by GPs.)
  • When your child is aged 11 to 14 years , it is recommended that a HSE doctor or nurse gives them tetanus and low-dose diphtheria vaccine in school.  This new programme is in the process of being introduced by the HSE.
  • Any child or young adult (up to the age of 23) who was not immunised during the National Meningococcal C Vaccination Programme  between October 2000 and March 2002 may get the men C vaccine from their GP.

Before your child is immunised, the doctor or nurse will check with you that your child is well and able to get the vaccines.  If you have any worries or questions about your child’s immunisations, ask the doctor or nurse before your child is immunised.  You can also ask for further information from your Public Health Nurse at your local HSE clinic.

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