HealthDoctor Karen

Dear Karen: Have there been changes in the immunisation schedule for babies?

Dear Karen: Have there been changes in the immunisation schedule for babies?

Dear Karen I am on the oral contraceptive pill and I am short on cash this month. Will I need to go back to my doctor for a consultation or can I phone in for a repeat script?

KAREN SAYS: The pill is on prescription because there are safety concerns associated with it. There is a small risk of developing clots whilst on the pill, and the pill can increase in blood pressure in some women.

The doctor’s role is to screen each patient to make sure that they have no problems with the pill and that the woman is safe on it. There are certain risk factors that increase the risk of developing a clot: family history of arterial disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, smoking, age over 35 years, obesity and migraine.

Your doctor needs to see you once a year and check your blood pressure and weight. At this consultation, he/she will make sure that you are safe taking the pill and also ensure that you are not having any problems with the medication

If you are really stuck, I’m sure your doctor will give you a month’s prescription to give you a chance to get in for a consultation.


Dear Karen
I believe there have been changes in the immunisation schedule for babies. Can you explain them?

KAREN SAYS: You are right. The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has recommended changing the meningococcal C (MenC) immunisation schedule in the primary childhood programme from three doses at four, six and 13 months, to two doses at four and 13 months because of evidence that a single dose of MenC vaccine provides protection for the first year of life.

This is great news for babies. Instead of getting three jabs at six months, they only get two vaccines. These changes are only for babies born after July 1, 2015. The new schedule will be

See www.hse.ie for details of the changes and a timetable of immunisations.