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A WonderBaba Guide to the MMR Vaccination

 

measles-infographic CDC not just a little rash amended for IrelandThe MMR vaccine is given at twelve months of age and again when your child is in junior infants at school.  It is 95% effective at protecting against Measles, Mumps and Rubella.  Measles is a highly infections disease which is spread easily and there is a current out break in Ireland so the HSE are recommending that  anyone with young children who does not have their vaccines up to date contact their healthcare provider to arrange vaccination as soon as possible.

I would like to highlight that there is no link between the MMR and autism.  The MMR has been protecting children from these diseases since 1988.  Extensive research has been undertaken on the area.

According the the HSE parents should:

“Make sure you or your children are up to date with your MMR vaccines.

Please go to your GP for MMR vaccination if:

  • you have not had 2 doses of MMR vaccine
  • you have a preschool or primary school child who never had MMR vaccine
  • you have a primary school child who missed out on the 2nd dose
  • you are not sure if your child has had 2 doses of MMR  vaccine”

Some people diagnosed with measles attended GP surgeries and paediatric hospitals in Dublin and Meath from the 19th October 2017 and thus there is an increased likelihood that more cases will occur as these people would have been infectious.  You can be infectious for four days before the measles symptoms appear and they can be tricky to diagnose so it is obvious how this disease can be so infectious within a community.

The HPSC have advised that patients who show symptoms suggestive of measles  should stay at home, not go to school or work and phone your GP and explain that you may have measles. Those most at risk of catching measles are those who are not fully vaccinated with 2 doses of MMR vaccine such as babies younger than 12 months who are too young to be vaccinated, and those with weakened immune systems.

To learn more all about the symptoms of measles and how to treat it read my full measles blog by clicking here!

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngI hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262.  I’m always happy to help!

 

References:

 


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A wonderBaba Guide to the 6 in 1 vaccine given at 2,4, and 6 months of age!

Infanrix Hexa6002PPS0This vaccine is given at two, four and six months and protects your child against six different diseases in one injection.

  • Diphtheria – This can be a very serious bacterial illness which symptoms can vary from sore throat, fever, headache to breathing difficulties and problems with swallowing. Immunity is 97% after vaccination.
  • Hepatitis B – This is a viral infection which affects the liver and can cause serious health problems such as liver failure, cancer, cirrhosis and lifelong infection.  Immunity is 80-100% after vaccination
  • Hib – This is a bacterial infection which can cause meningitis, septicaemia and chest and ear infections. Immunity is 95-100% after vaccination.
  • Polio – This is a viral infection that can cause paralysis.  Immunity is 99% after vaccination.
  • Tetanus – This is a potentially fatal disease which can cause muscle spasm, convulsions and breathing problems.  Immunity is almost 100% after vaccination.
  • Whooping Cough – This is a bacterial infection which causes a characteristic ‘whoop’ sound during coughing episodes and can lead to difficulties breathing, pneumonia, heart and lung failure and brain damage.  Immunity is 75-90% after vaccination.

This vaccine is important.  Each time your baby gets the vaccine their level of immunity is increased and the vaccine becomes more effective.  Getting the vaccine at the recommended times means that your child will be immune to these illnesses as early as possible which reduces their risk of contracting illness.   As with all vaccines there is a very small risk (less than one in 100,000) of your child experiencing a severe anaphylactic reaction but these often occur within 15 minutes of vaccination and the nurses or doctors administering the vaccine are well-trained to manage these reactions.

Babies who should avoid this vaccine are ones who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose or have a known allergy to other parts of the vaccine such as neomycin or polymixin B.

You can get your child vaccinated if they have a cough or a cold but not if they are sick with a fever.

cropped-cropped-feet1.pngI hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262. I’m always happy to help!

 

References:


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Should you give your baby calpol or nurofen before vaccinations?

This is a question that crops up time and time again – especially now since new guidance has been given with the introduction of the MenB Vaccine to the primary immunisation schedule.  I’d like to clear it up to help parents understand when you should or should not give your baby calpol or nurofen as a preventative strategy before vaccinations.

  • Ibuprofen (Nurofen) should not be given to prevent pain or fever before any vaccination on the childhood schedule.
  • Paracetamol (Calpol or Paralink) should only be given as a preventative measure at the time of the MenB vaccines only.  This recommendation applies only to the vaccines given at two and four months of age.
  • Paracetamol is recommended before the two and four month vaccines only as a result of the introduction of the MenB vaccine which may put your child at a higher risk of fever when given with the other vaccines.
  • At your child’s two or four month vaccines three doses of paracetamol should be given – the first dose of 2.5mls infant paracetamol (60mg) should be given at the time of vaccination or just after.  The second dose should be given 4-6 hours later and then the third dose should be given 4-6 hours after the second.
  • Paracetamol (calpol) does not need to be given routinely at the 12 month vaccines as your baby is less susceptible to the side effects of the MenB vaccination.

So basically other than before the two and four month vaccines you should not routinely try to prevent side effects of vaccines by giving medication.

However, it is important to stress that if your child is over six months of age and develops a fever over 39 degrees celcius or pain, swelling, headache or irritability after receiving a vaccine you can then use either paracetamol (calpol or paralink) or ibuprofen (nurofen) to treat their symptoms.

hugsOn a personal note I would recommend breastfeeding or if not bottle feeding your baby during or just after their vaccinations – and LOTS AND LOTS of cuddles and hugs…they are shocked and horrified by whats going on and a little love and reassurance is sometimes the best medicine!

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngI hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262. I’m always happy to help!

 

References

http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/hcpinfo/guidelines/

PSI Guidance 2017

 


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Chicken Pox -Vaccination Facts for Parents!

What is the vaccine?

The Chicken Pox vaccine contains a laboratory weakened/altered amount of the Varicella virus which stimulates an immune response in the patients body so that they will be able to defend themselves from future exposure.  It is such a weak dose that most patients (98%) suffer no symptoms afterwards – in a very small minority the patient may show a very mild form of the disease. It is usually no more than 5-6 blisters in this case. Full illness causes 200-500 blisters in most cases. This type of vaccination stimulates an excellent immune response and will leave your child approximately 90% protected against the illness. Continue reading


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Updated Information on the Primary Immunisation Programme 2016!

Hi Mums and Dads of WonderBabas in Ireland!

There have been some recent announcements about the immunisations which your child will be offered.  It has been announced that the HSE intend to roll out a new Primary Childhood Immunisation Programme this year which will mean that all babies who are born on or after the 1st of October 2016 will receive two new vaccines as part of the programme.  The two new vaccines include MenB (at 2,4 and 12 months) and Rotavirus (at 2 and 4 months). The timing  if the 1st MenC vaccine will also change from 4 to 6 months and the timing of the third PCV will change from 12 to 13 months.  Currently Hib and MenC are given as two separate vaccines but will now change to one injection which combines the two vaccinations at 13 months.

I have updated my ‘Vaccination Schedule’ blog so that you have all of the information you need to answer any questions you may have relating to the changes and how they may or may not affect you and your baby.

The updated blog is available here:

https://wonderbaba.ie/2016/06/14/vaccination-schedule/

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngI hope you find helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262. I’m always happy to help!


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Measles – A WonderBaba Guide!

Baby was receiving his scheduled vaccine injection in his left tMeasles is a contagious viral illness which is most common among children age one to four years of age.  The MMR vaccine is the most effective way to protect your child against measles and due to its success Ireland has a very low level of measles cases.  However in recent years controversy surrounding the vaccine which included an association with autism has resulted in some parents choosing not to vaccinate their children.  The World Health Organisation state that ‘no evidence exists of a causal association between MMR vaccine and autism or autistic disorders’.  In addition the HSE website shows a quote from Autism Speaks (2015), the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organisation has stated, “Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated”

The inaccurate link between autism and the MMR first came about in the late 1990’s and the children who were not vaccinated then would now be approximately 18 years of age….it seems no surprise to me that the current outbreak of measles in Ireland is affecting the 15-19 year age group mostly. The majority of the recent cases of measles were in patients who had not been vaccinated with the MMR.

The MMR vaccine should be given when your child is 12 months of age as a part of the childhood vaccination schedule and then a second dose is given when they are 4-5 years of age.  To read my blog all about the childhood vaccination schedule just click here!

Once you have had the vaccine or the virus it is very rare for you to get the infection as your body will then be immune and resistant to the virus.

 

What are the symptoms of the Measles?

  • Cold like symptoms including runny nose, sneezing, dry cough and sore eyes.
  • A mild to severe temperature which may last for several days.
  • Small white/grey spots in the mouth and throat.
  • Lack of energy and fatigue.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • measles rashA red-brown spotty rash which appears two to four days after the initial symptoms occur.  The rash can last for up to eight days and usually starts at the top of the head and works its way down the body.

It can be hard to differentiate measles rash from some other childhood rashes but the measles rash often starts as small spots which quickly get bigger and then join together.  Measles is not just defined by its rash but also by the symptoms that accompany it so if your child has a rash which sounds like this you should phone your GP to discuss it and arrange to visit at a time that other vulnerable patients will not be in the waiting room.

 

How is the measles virus spread?

WONDERBABA COUGHThe measles virus is spread by coughing and sneezing as it is present in the tiny water particles which are expelled by an infected person. If an infected person coughs or sneezes in close proximity to you, or you touch something which they have coughed or sneezed on, you may ingest the virus and thus become infected.  The measles virus can survive on surfaces for a couple of hours.  Symptoms of the measles start to appear about ten days after you have caught the infection.  You are contagious and can spread the virus from two to four days before the rash appears to about five days after.

How do I treat the measles?

The treatment of the measles simply involves the treatment of the symptoms.  The virus itself is self-limiting and will normally clear by itself within a couple of weeks.  To read my blog on managing a high temperature click here!

  • Paracetamol (calpol) or ibuprofen (nurofen) can be given in the case of a high temperature, aches or pains.
  • Soothe irritated eyes by cleansing with gauze dipped in boiled cooled water.  Use one piece of gauze as a single wipe from the inside of the eye outwards and then dispose of it.
  • To learn more about the treatment of coughs and what cough bottle can be used click here!
  • Ensure your child stays hydrated.  Tips on how to spot dehydration and how to prevent it can be found by clicking here!

doctor-logo-red-white-mdWhen to contact the doctor?

  • If measles is suspected phone your GP.
  • If you cannot alleviate the symptoms of measles using over the counter remedies.
  • If complications occur such as croup, bronchitis, a squint of the eye, ear ache, febrile convulsions, symptoms of meningitis, drowsiness, severe headache and vomiting.

 

websitefeetlogoI hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262.  I’m always happy to help

 

References:

http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/topics/mmr/mmr_autism/en/

http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/media/pressrel/furthermeasles.html

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/Pages/Introduction.aspx

https://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/VaccinePreventable/Measles/Publications/MeaslesPublicationsArchive/File,938,en.pdf

 


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A WonderBaba Guide to Childhood Vaccinations in Ireland!

 

It has been announced that the HSE intend to roll out a new Primary Childhood Immunisation Programme this year which will mean that all babies who are born on or after the 1st of October 2016 will receive two new vaccines as part of the programme.  The two new vaccines include MenB (at 2,4 and 12 months) and Rotavirus (at 2 and 4 months). The timing  if the 1st MenC vaccine will also change from 4 to 6 months and the timing of the third PCV will change from 12 to 13 months.  Currently Hib and MenC are given as two separate vaccines but will now change to one injection which combines the two vaccinations at 13 months. The changes are best understood by looking at the following chart:

the new pci schedule

Reference : http://www.immunisation.ie

The vaccines which are shown in yellow text are new and the ones in green text in the chart have had changes to the timings as described above.  Children who have started on the ‘old schedule’ i.e those born before the 1st October 2016 will complete the ‘old schedule’.  As a parent of three I understand that vaccination schedules will change with time and that the most relevant vaccines at the time of my children’s birth have been offered to them.  There has to be a starting point for any new vaccination schedule and I suppose this is why there is no ‘catch up’ programme planned that I am aware of. Any parent of a child born before the 1st October 2016 who wishes to get their child vaccinated against MenB or the Rotavirus will have to discuss it with their GP who may prescribe it for them privately but the parent would need to pay for the vaccinations as they will not be covered under the child’s state funded immunisation schedule.

The changes to the Primary Immunisation Programme are very likely to go ahead but the HSE have yet to engage in negotiations with the Irish Medicines Organisation (who represent the GP’s who are responsible for administering the vaccines) to form an agreed framework for the implementation of the programme. Once that has been completed then the new vaccination programme should go ahead as planned.

The Primary Childhood Immunisation programme exists to help protect our babies and children from preventable diseases.  The more we vaccinate the more we move towards eradicating these diseases from Irish health. Whilst I strongly advise vaccination it is also only fair to point out that it is optional and you should always offer your consent before a vaccination takes place.  This article aims to allow you to make that decision in a more informed manner.  I hope for you to understand what vaccines your child is receiving and for what illnesses. I also hope you will find my ‘Parents Tips’ at the end useful for making the vaccination process less scary and intimidating for your child as a relaxed and prepared parent allows a child to be confident and relaxed in your care. Continue reading


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MenB Vaccine – Update!

31/7/16 – It has been announced that Bexsero will be included in the ‘new’ childhood immunisation programme.  This means that all babies born on or after the 1st October 2016 will be offered the vaccine as a part of their routine vaccination programme.  Any parent who wishes to get their child with an earlier birthday vaccinated will have to pay privately to do so. Children born before the 1st October 2016 will continue on the ‘old’ vaccination programme as normal.

 

07/07/2016 – Suppliers have informed us that Bexsero is currently a doctor only line so pharmacies are still unable to get stock but your doctor may be able! It is worth contacting your local GP to see if they have vaccines in stock even if your local pharmacy cannot currently get them.

 

10/3/16 – MenB Vaccine – Update!

Unfortunately the position remains as described below with no further information coming from the pharmacy wholesalers. Continue reading


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Meningitis – Do you know what you’re looking for?

Meningitis describes an infection of the meninges.  The meninges are the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.  The infection can be viral or bacterial.

mother and babyViral infections, whilst very scary, are usually not life threatening.  Hospital tests are often required to differentiate between bacterial and viral menigitis and it’s extremely important to seek medical attention if meningitis is suspected as urgent antibiotic treatment is needed for the bacterial form of the disease.  Examples of viruses which can cause meningitis are enteroviruses and the herpes simplex virus. Continue reading


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The BCG Shortage – The Full Story!

green-update-button-clip-art16/10/2016 – Below you will find in black text my original review of the status of the BCG vaccination in Ireland and also a link to my full article on Tuberculosis.  I am also available to answer any queries you may have by private message on the WonderBaba facebook page.   I just wanted to update this information due to a recent statement made by the HSE.  The HSE are still struggling to obtain supply of the BCG vaccine – this is a problem being experienced all over Europe – not just in Ireland! The situation remains the same as described in my article below with no date mentioned for resolution of the issue.  The National Immunisation Advisory Committee and the Health Information and Quality Authority both advise that there is no longer a need for the vaccine to be given routinely to all babies in Ireland – just to certain at risk categories.  However it still remains on the new Childhood Immunisation Schedule.  The most important information out of this article is that TB has been at the lowest rates available on records in 2014 and 2015.  Most countries in Europe do not routinely vaccinate against TB they feel the risk is so low.  The best thing to do is follow the rest of the Childhood Vaccination Schedule as recommended and time will tell us what will happen about the BCG.  If it helps to alleviate worry…I have three children and only two have received the vaccine…There is no information that has made me feel concerned at this stage.

 

7/8/15 – The BCG Shortage – The Full Story!

There is a current shortage of the BCG vaccine in Ireland. This issue affects all of Europe as one of the largest providers (SSI) of the vaccine has been unable to meet demand.  There is only one brand of this vaccine licensed for use in Ireland as no other suppliers have met the safety and validation requirements. Continue reading