COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 6 months to 4 years
Today, (Friday, 17th February) the HSE has announced that from next Monday (20th February), they will provide COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 6 months to 4 years. Appointments may be booked from today on www.hse.ie.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has recommended COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 6 months to 4 years with underlying conditions that place them at higher risk of severe COVID-19.
NIAC has also recommended that COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to all others in this age group to protect them from severe disease, provide extra protection from the rare risks of serious illness from COVID-19 (e.g. multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children), as well as providing the modest benefit in reducing household transmission to those immunocompromised or too young for vaccination.
NIAC has also stressed the safety profile of the vaccine and the comparable immunogenicity to that in older children and adolescents.
Dr Aparna Keegan, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE National Immunisation Office (NIO) said; “We are encouraging parents to familiarise themselves with HSE advice on the Children’s COVID-19 vaccine with information available at www.hse.ie. We know from listening to parents they have questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccine for their children. This is why we have provided information on our website to help parents make an informed decision.
“While serious illness from COVID-19 in this age group is rare, this vaccine offers further protection particularly for children who have health conditions that put them at high risk of severe COVID-19.”
Children in this age group will require three doses of the vaccine with an interval of three weeks between dose one and two and at least eight weeks between dose two and three.
It is also recommended that the COVID-19 vaccine is separated from the administration of other vaccines by 14 days.
Community Vaccination Centres across the country will commence the roll out of clinics from Monday onwards with many commencing clinics later in the week and over the following weekend. At present the vaccination is only available through the community vaccination centres.
Clinic details will be updated on www.hse.ie on a rolling basis so parents are advised to check the website for updates on clinic availability in the coming weeks.
Get your COVID-19 booster vaccine
It’s important that all eligible people avail of the COVID-19 booster to protect themselves and those around them from serious COVID-19 illness.
All people in the 18-49 years age group are eligible for their second COVID-19 booster, provided it is six months since their last vaccine or since they had a COVID-19 infection.
The HSE strongly urges people who have not yet received a COVID-19 booster vaccine to check their vaccine status and to do so as soon as possible. You can do this by contacting HSELive on 1800 700 700.
Booster COVID-19 vaccines are available at Community Vaccination Centres, participating GPs and pharmacies and information on getting your booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is available here.
Advice for people at higher risk from COVID-19
You should contact a doctor urgently if you are at higher risk and you have COVID-19 symptoms or you have a positive COVID-19 PCR or antigen test.
Some people who are at higher risk from COVID-19 may be recommended for treatments. If your doctor decides that treatment is right for you, you’ll start treatment as soon as possible. Treatment for COVID-19 is free of charge through the HSE if it is recommended for you.
If COVID-19 treatment is not recommended for you, your doctor will provide you with the care that is right for your condition and symptoms.
Protect yourself and your family from common winter illnesses
There has been a significant rise in common winter illnesses like RSV, flu and COVID-19 this winter. You can help prevent common winter illnesses by:
- Staying home if you are unwell (child or adult)
- Practicing good hand hygiene
- Covering coughs and sneezes
- Getting your recommended vaccines
Our guide to keeping well this winter contains advice for patients with chronic conditions. It also has information on how to manage common illnesses at home and advice about COVID-19.
RSV and flu in children
The flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are still circulating. Remember to keep children at home if they’re unwell, wash hands, cover coughs or sneezes and stay up to date with recommended vaccines. Please visit hse.ie/winter for advice on preventing and treating common illnesses in children, and when to get medical help.
COVID-19 vaccine resources
The HSE produces and regularly updates resources for the COVID-19 vaccine. You can visit the COVID-19 vaccine materials page for the latest leaflets and booklets including information on boosters and vaccines for children.
Details are available here.
COVID-19 information in other languages
Visit hse.ie/translations for a range of COVID-19 vaccine information videos and resources that have been produced in other languages, including information on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy.
Information videos on COVID-19 vaccination for parents of children aged 5-11 are available here.
Health service updates and information:
HSE announces free Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) for anyone who wants to quit smoking: Expert support available from QUIT.ie
On this year’s National No Smoking Day (Wednesday, 22nd February 2023), the HSE announced that nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) are free from local stop smoking clinics as part of a package of supports on offer to people who quit smoking through the HSE QUIT service.
NRT are licensed medicines that safely give you lower levels of nicotine to help you get through cravings and withdrawal symptoms that can double your chances of quitting for good.
In 2022, almost one in five people in Ireland smoke* (Healthy Ireland, 2022). The prevalence of smoking in Ireland remains at 18% and has not declined since 2019.
Visit QUIT.ie to take back control over smoking. Sign up to a personalised quit plan and find contact details for your local stop smoking clinics.
HSE Data Breach Notification Programme
In November 2022 the HSE started to contact people whose information was illegally accessed and copied during the cyber-attack in May 2021 on HSE systems. The HSE is continuing to write to those who need to be notified under GDPR. Due to the numbers involved we began to notify approximately 113,000 people all over the country in this phased way from November. These letters will continue to issue over the coming weeks and we anticipate we will have contacted everyone by April 2023. Please find a link to all of the information about the Data Breach Notification Programme here.
START campaign: one daily win
The START campaign is encouraging parents and guardians to start healthy family habits with one daily win. For example, replace sugary breakfast cereal for a healthy one, introduce vegetables to dinner time, have fruit after school instead of treats, or drink water with meals. There are plenty of tips for families to help choose one small change, make a plan, and stick to it. For advice and more ways to make one daily win visit www.makeastart.ie
The Laura Brennan HPV vaccine catch-up programme
An advertising campaign to promote The Laura Brennan HPV vaccine catch-up programme is currently live. Clinics are being set up around the country to allow young people who didn’t get the HPV vaccine when it was offered to them in school, to get it now for free as part of the catch-up programme. Appointments are available to anyone who hasn’t got the HPV vaccine and is:
- female age 16 to 24 years
- male age 16 or older who started 1st year of secondary school, homeschool or a special school between 2019 and 2021
You can find more information at hpv.ie
An updated campaign partner pack with new campaign assets is attached at the bottom of this message.
Injury units treat injuries that are not life-threatening. For example, broken bones, dislocations and burns. The waiting times at injury units are usually significantly less than at Emergency Departments (EDs) where staff need to prioritise treating acutely ill patients. See here for more information.
Trauma Study: Informing policy & practice for trauma care by analysing the patient journey from incident to recovery
This study will combine the National Ambulance Service (NAS) electronic Patient Care Record (ePCR), and the Major Trauma Audit (MTA). This data will help healthcare professionals identify which hospital to bring trauma patients to. More information about the study is available on the website here.
If you were a trauma patient during 2020-2022 and wish know more about the study, how data will be processed or to withdraw your data from the study, please contact us at: [email protected]
Health service information for Ukrainian nationals
- Updated mental health supports information is here
- Disability services information is here
- Healthcare services information is here
- COVID-19 information is here
- COVID-19 vaccination video, Dr Oksana Kozdoba, a Pediatrician from Ukraine, shares information about the vaccination programme in Ireland. She covers the vaccines offered in Ireland to protect babies, school children and adults.
Public Health Information
For updated information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to:
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/ and https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/. Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on www.hpsc.ie where you’ll find up to date guidance for healthcare settings and non-clinical settings.
Please check here for partner resources for COVID-19.
You can find translated resources here.
You can find the COVID-19 A-Z information here from the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
You can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of COVID-19 here.
Ireland’s COVID-19 Data Hub is available here.
If your organisation has any requests in relation to COVID-19 public health information materials, please reply directly to this email to let us know.