Immunisation/vaccine preventable diseases
After clean water, vaccination is the most effective public health intervention in the world for saving lives and promoting good health.
The childhood vaccination programme has been a tremendous success in Northern Ireland over recent years. Our uptake rates are at an all-time high and Northern Ireland has uptake rates well above the UK average.
This is a tremendous tribute to GPs and all their staff, health visitors and everyone else involved in the vaccination programme who have worked so hard to achieve this.
The seasonal flu vaccine programme is also very successful, with Northern Ireland achieving the highest uptake in the UK.
The areas covered by the vaccination team include childhood vaccines, influenza vaccines, travel vaccines, occupational health vaccines, and the surveillance and control of vaccine preventable diseases.
Click here to view the Annual Immunisation and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Reports.
Key areas of ongoing work
- Maintaining and improving high uptake of the childhood vaccines particularly targeting areas / groups with comparatively low uptake
- Training of health professionals and students in vaccination programmes
- Introducing new vaccine programme updates
- Managing the flu vaccine programme to achieve target uptake rates
- Building on recently introduced HPV vaccine programme
- Screening health care workers for measles immunity and vaccinating those not immune
- Providing advice to health professionals through the duty room
- Responding to cases of vaccine preventable diseases
HPV vaccine for men who have sex with men (MSM)
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is offered to all eligible men who have sex with men (MSM) attending GUM and/or HIV clinics across Northern Ireland. Most of the clinics began offering the HPV vaccine during October 2016 and all clinics have been offering the vaccine since January 2017.
This is in line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which recommends a targeted vaccination programme for MSM aged up to 45 who attend GUM and HIV clinics.
Studies have shown that MSM aged up to 45 years who attend GUM or HIV clinics are at greater risk of HPV-associated cancers and genital warts. The HPV vaccine helps prevent infection that can cause genital warts and HPV-associated cancers. Vaccination is especially important for MSM who have multiple sexual partners.
Flu training for health professionals
|Vaccine type||Information for public||Information for healthcare professionals|
|General professional information|
Immunisations for infants (aged under 1 year) and children (aged 1–2 years)
Includes: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, hepatitis B, Hib, MMR, Men B, Men C, pneumococcal, rotavirus, BCG, influenza
|Childhood immunisation programme|
Pre-school immunisations (aged 2–4 years)
Includes: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, MMR
Immunisations for 12–18 year olds
Includes: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, MenACWY, MMR, HPV
|PHA resources on HPV vaccine for children in Year 9 and 10|
|MenACWY||Factsheet on MenACWY immunisation for teenagers|
Pertussis (whooping cough)Includes: Infants, pre-school aged children and pregnant women
|Rotavirus||Factsheet on rotavirus immunisation|
|Targeted programmes||Information for public||Information for healthcare professionals|
Includes: Universal hepatitis B programme and hepatitis B vaccine for at risk babies
|Clinical guidelines on hepatitis B|
Includes: Children, adults, pregnant women and healthcare workers
Includes: Men who have sex with men (MSM)
Includes: Flu, pertussis, MMR, hepatitis B and syphilis advice
|PHA resources on immunisations for pregnant women|
|Shingles||PHA resources on shingles vaccination for older people|
Includes: MenACWY, pneumococcal, flu
Travel vaccines (National Travel and Health Network, Travax)
|NHS advice on travel vaccinations|