The government has announced a new five-in-one vaccination for
babies as part of its changes to the childhood immunisation
The combined vaccines are for protection against whooping cough,
diphtheria, tetanus, Hib and polio. The jab will be offered to
babies for routine immunisation at two, three and four months.
The new vaccines do not contain the mercury-based substance
thiomersal, the use of which has been called into question
following a possible link with autism.
However, concerns have been raised about the safety of a
five-in-one vaccination particularly in light of the controversy
surrounding the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination.
Health minister John Hutton said that immunisation was the best
way to protect children from serious disease and that the
Department of Health’s changes would “benefit
The vaccine, with the brand name Pediacel, will be introduced
from September. A new immunisation website has been set up to help
parents and health professionals access information about the
changes to the routine immunisation programme.