Several vaccine-related stories have recently been published in Ireland raising a range of concerns for the health of the nation’s citizens, especially children.
Meningitis has been highlighted, with reports showing a fall in vaccination rates that may be ‘contributing to spike’ in the numbers of patients affected, and a number of resultant deaths. Professor Sam McConkey, Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Beaumont Hospital, said on Irish radio:
“The increase could be (related to people not getting their full set of vaccines as children), 85 to 90 per cent of our children do get vaccinated, but still about 10 to 15pc don’t get vaccinated for various reasons, that’s obviously one reason why we see this.
“Secondly, it tends to be higher in winter, it’s been unusually warm and so we’ve been doing different things socially.
“There may be different factors but the drop in vaccine coverage is probably contributing to it.”
This story was published on the same day as one showing the cost of a meningitis B vaccine is around €280 for those children ineligible for the HSE’s free vaccination programme. This programme is only for children born in or after October 2016.
Two stories also highlighted flu, with swine flu currently circulating in the country and 29 people admitted to hospital as of the tenth of January. The patient numbers have exacerbated the so-called trolley crisis, in which patients are waiting for beds in hospitals without current availability.