A Cork GP has led calls for people to get vaccinated amid increases of diseases like mumps and measles in Ireland.
Vaccines given in Ireland prevent 13 diseases including measles, meningitis and whooping cough, diseases which can result in serious complications and even death.
Dr Nuala O'Connor warned that outbreaks of these serious infectious diseases will occur if people are not vaccinated.
“We are now seeing an increase in the numbers of children and young adults with measles,” said Dr O’Connor.
“There has been an increase in the number of cases of measles and mumps in Ireland in recent months.
“In the first 15 weeks of this year, 898 cases of mumps and 48 cases of measles have been reported,” she added.
“I also want to remind pregnant women that pregnancy is another vulnerable time for infection.
“Flu vaccine is recommended to protect you and a pertussis (whooping cough) booster to protect your baby.
“Both of these vaccines are available from your GP practice.
“Your GP is here to help you protect your family’s health,” explained Dr O’Connor.
“The childhood vaccination programme is a critical part of ensuring your child stays as healthy as possible.
“There is a wealth of information for parents on www.immunisation.ie.”
Dr O’Connor’s advice comes during International Infection Prevention Week which takes place from October 13 to 19.
Professor Martin Cormican, HSE National Lead for Antibiotic Resistance, said:
“International Infection Prevention Week gives us the opportunity to highlight some of the key actions we can all take to reduce infection.
“This year the theme is vaccination and it’s important to ensure that we, as health care professionals, are aware of the role vaccination plays in protecting patient health and the health of our families.
“It’s also very important that healthcare staff get the annual flu vaccination to help protect patients and themselves from getting the flu,” he added.