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“Sixth Case of Measles Confirmed in Ireland, Health Officials Report”

A sixth case of measles has been officially confirmed in Ireland, as reported by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) in its latest Infectious Disease Weekly Report. This new case adds to the five previously reported cases in recent weeks, raising concerns about measles transmission.

According to a statement from the HPSC, as of March 20th, six confirmed cases of measles have been reported in 2024. In response to the increasing number of cases in Ireland and across Europe, the Health Service Executive (HSE) has initiated plans for an expanded rollout of a proactive MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine catch-up programme.

While the MMR vaccine is routinely offered to children at ages 12 months and four to five years, the HSE is extending free catch-up MMR vaccinations through participating general practitioners (GPs). This measure is aimed particularly at individuals who may have missed their vaccination during childhood.

The HSE’s catch-up programme prioritises three key groups with lower vaccination rates: children and young adults, healthcare workers, and underserved communities, including refugees, asylum seekers, and the homeless population.

It’s worth noting that individuals born in Ireland before 1978 are typically considered to have acquired immunity to measles during childhood and may not require the MMR vaccine, as per current public health advice. However, vigilance and proactive vaccination efforts remain critical in curbing the spread of measles and protecting public health.

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