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Prevention guide




Vaccination has saved numerous lives and made some infectious diseases disappear. It is still essential today.

What does vaccination involve?

Vaccinations stimulate the body to develop protection against an illness without exposure to the dangerous infectious agent itself.

The immunity accrued will destroy germs (bacteria, viruses) responsible for that illness, which may try to enter your body.

As the antibody production regularly decreases over the years, it is necessary to receive boosters of some vaccines, in other words to re-inject a dose to boost the defence method of the body.


What is the difference between preventive and therapeutic vaccination?
Preventive vaccination prepares your body to defend itself before it is infected. Therapeutic vaccination stimulates your immune system when your body is already infected. It helps your body to react. That is how rabies is treated after a bite for example. This type of vaccine is at the experimental stage for HIV and cancer.

Vaccines are available for a number of illnesses

  • the DPT polio vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis).
  • BCG against tuberculosis.
  • whooping cough.
  • haemophilus influenzae (some types of meningitis).
  • hepatitis B.
  • pneumonococcus (bacterial meningitis).
  • The vaccine against pulmonary pneumococcal infections, in particular in fragile, immunodepressed, elderly or institutionalized persons.
  • MMR: measles-mumps-rubella.
  • human papillomavirus involved in cancer of the cervix.
  • The vaccine against flu.
  • The vaccine against meningococcus (certain types of meningitis).

And what if I go abroad?

It is essential to protect yourself against some devastating diseases such as cholera or yellow fever. To prepare yourself well for travel, inform yourself at the doctor's office or at specialized vaccination centres.


Why should I get vaccinated against illnesses that no longer exist?

Because the illnesses are not eradicated everywhere. They have simply disappeared in one region of the world and are dormant elsewhere.

Only vaccination prevents a virus from reappearing and avoids epidemics.

According to the WHO more than 95% of people need to be protected for the virus to be contained.



Type of Vaccination

At birth

BCG tuberculosis vaccine (given in maternity hospitals or a HSE clinic)


At 2 months

Free from your GP

5 in 1 (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough (Pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae B), Polio (Inactivated poliomyelitis))

Men C (Meningococcal C)


At 4 months


Free from your GP

5 in 1 (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough (Pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae B), Polio (Inactivated poliomyelitis))

Men C (Meningococcal C)



At 6 months


Free from your GP

5 in 1 (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough (Pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae B), Polio (Inactivated poliomyelitis))

Men C (Meningococcal C)

At 12 to 15 months

Free from your GP

MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)

Hib (Haemophilus influenzae B)


Will immunisations still work if my child doesn’t get them at the right time?

Yes. Most of these vaccines can be given at any age, and a child who misses one injection in a course of injections does not have to start again. The vaccines already given will still work and your child will still develop protection. Just ask your GP (General Practitioner).

If you have any queries or concerns about vaccines please contact your GP or local health office

Publication date:   5/12/10

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Tallaght Medical Practice

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TLC-DOC is a service provided by local GPs, with the support of the HSE, and located in Tallaght Cross west across from Aldi Tallaght Rd, Cookstown, Dublin. Local GPs have formed a cooperative to provide out-of-hours care for their own patients. This service will provide GP appointments for urgent medical conditions on weekday evenings and weekends. 1890 20 22 24 Please do not ring this number before 6.00 pm Monday - Friday, or 10.00 Sat/Sun & Bank Holidays.

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