A new information campaign is required to inform the public about the importance of vaccinating against meningitis following recent Irish cases, said a Fine Gael TD.
Fine Gael spokesperson on Health, Deputy Colm Burke, highlighted the effectiveness of early treatment and awareness of the primary symptoms.
Deputy Burke said, “Cases of meningococcal meningitis/septicaemia have been reported in the last week of September. Latest figures from the HPSC show there were 14 deaths from meningococcal septicaemia in 2019, and 17 occurred in 2018.
“Oftentimes, meningitis and septicaemia happen together. These can include headache, neck stiffness, vomiting, discomfort from bright light or fever accompanied by cold hands and feet or a rash which does not fade when pressed with a glass may appear.
“The Meningitis B vaccine programme introduced by my Fine Gael colleague and former Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, in 2016.
“The MenB vaccine was introduced in Ireland for all children born on or after 1 October 2016. This is due to the fact that children under one years are at the highest risk of meningococcal B disease. All children are offered MenB vaccine at two and four months of age with a booster dose of MenB vaccine given at 12 months.
“We’re at a vital point that requires action and a new information campaign to alert the public to the vaccines available to avoid any additional cases.
“The HSE is monitoring the situation closely and advises that if anyone has any concerns they should contact their GP in the first instance but ensure that medical expertise is sought quickly” Deputy Burke concluded.