Parents and guardians urged to have children vaccinated

The Minister for Health, Chief Medical Officer and Chair of NIAC have jointly encouraged parents and guardians to have their children vaccinated.
Parents and guardians urged to have children vaccinated

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that the vaccination offers "an extra level of protection for all of us". Photograph: Sasko Lazarov /

Parents and guardians are being encouraged to bring their children for the Covid-19 vaccination as soon as it is available to them.

The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan and Chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Council (NIAC) Professor Karina Butler jointly encouraged parents and guardians of those aged between five and 11 to have their children vaccinated.

Ireland’s paediatric vaccination programme is underway with children aged five to 11 who have a health condition that puts them at risk of severe illness from Covid-19 and who live with someone who is at higher risk from Covid-19 being offered vaccinations since earlier this week. 

This will be rolled out to all five to 11-year-olds from tomorrow.

Minister Donnelly said: “Over the Christmas period we reported the highest daily numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases. As we wait for more evidence to emerge on the severity of infection with the Omicron variant, it is important that we continue to encourage all of those eligible for vaccination to come forward.

Vaccination offers an extra level of protection for all of us. It is important to discuss the Covid-19 vaccine with your child.

"As a parent of children in this age group myself, I know that children have many questions about Covid-19 and about this vaccine, and it is important to ensure they can access the information material the HSE have made available.” 

Dr Holohan said that while most children in the five to 11-year-olds age group will experience a very mild form of this disease, that a small few may become severely ill.

“Vaccines are doing an excellent job of preventing severe illness and disease in those who are fully vaccinated. This is good news. Getting your child vaccinated is a decision between you and your child.

I encourage all parents and guardians to engage with the trusted health advice available on the HSE website, and with your own family clinician if you have any concerns about bringing your child for this vaccine.

Professor Butler said that in recommending vaccination for all five to 11-year-olds, NIAC considered the potential risks and benefits of vaccination, including the direct and indirect effects on health and wellbeing in this age group.

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