Immunisations for children and young people

Introduction

Immunisation is a safe and effective way to help the body prevent or fight off certain diseases. Immunisation is provided through vaccinations. Under the Childhood Immunisation Programme, all vaccines and their administration are provided free of charge for all children.

Vaccines are provided in GP surgeries, in hospitals, in health clinics or in schools (depending on the circumstances). Up to the age of 13 months, a schedule of vaccinations is provided by GPs, known as the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule. When children start school, they get subsequent vaccinations in school under the School Immunisation Programme.

The consent of parents is required for vaccinations for children and young people up to the age of 16. Vaccination is not compulsory, but is strongly advised by the Department of Health. You should discuss any concerns you may have with your GP (family doctor) before making a decision about your child's immunisation.

COVID-19 and vaccinations

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has a list of Frequently Asked Questions about vaccinations during COVID-19.

It is important that vaccinations for babies are given on time or as soon as possible after they are due. If your baby is due to have a routine vaccination, you should phone your GP to arrange it.

When are vaccinations given?

Childhood immunisation schedule

Age Where Vaccine
2 months GP 6 in 1 (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio, Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B) and Hepatitis B provided in one single injection).

Vaccines against Pneumococcal Disease, Meningococcal B and rotavirus disease.

4 months GP 6 in 1 (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio, Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B) and Hepatitis B provided in one single injection).

Vaccines against Meningococcal B and rotavirus disease.

6 months GP 6 in 1 (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio, Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B) and Hepatitis B provided in one single injection).

Vaccines against Pneumococcal Disease and Meningococcal C.

12 months GP MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.

Vaccine against Meningococcal B.

13 months GP Vaccines against Meningococcal C, Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B) and Pneumococcal Disease.
4–5 years GP or school 4 in 1 (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis) and polio), plus MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.
11–14 years

1st year in second-level schools

School

School

Tdap (tetanus and low-dose diphtheria) booster. Meningococcal ACWY booster.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus Virus) vaccine (2 doses).

Rates

These vaccinations are free of charge.

How to apply

You can get information about all immunisations from your GP, public health nurse or Local Health Office. The HSE's National Immunisation Office Website and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), have produced useful factsheets on immunisations for parents, in a number of languages.

Where to apply

Childhood immunisation services are usually offered to parents in the hospital where the baby was born and by contact from the HSE, through GPs and through the schools immunisation programme.

You can also contact your Local Health Office or your GP directly.

Page edited: 7 October 2020