Vaccinating Adults

So I’ve been looking in to adult vaccination in Ireland. Mostly because I have a number of friends who are in the process of having/or have had children and I want to make sure I am fully vaccinated so I don’t pose a risk to them before they get their vaccinations.

I am anxious to ensure I am up to date with all my jabs.

When I was a kid I had childhood eczema which precluded me from getting the MMR.. This meant that I was one of the kids who needed to be protected by herd immunisation.. sadly the herd were not fully immunised and I got all three of those wonderful illnesses by the time I was 5. It was not a good time for me or my parents (who had their hands full with my brother being ill at the same time).

I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.

So back to getting vaccinated. It’s harder than it looks. There is no standard test for checking if you are up to date. When I  remember back to when we were kids, there was this 6-prong test thing, where they injected you and if you reacted (raised bumps at the injection site) you were grand. If you didn’t you got the requisite jab.

When I rang my local surgery the receptionist seemed a little confused. Aside from travel vaccines and tetanus adults don’t tend to ask for vaccine check ups. If I want to get a vaccine review it will involve a range of blood tests.

I did a little bit more research to see what the actual vaccine policy was in Ireland in relation to Adults.. I found this policy document:,3066,en.pdf

And here’s the relevant section:

Immunisation of specific groups


Adults should receive the following vaccines:

(a) Women sero-negative for rubella: MMR

(b) Women sero-negative for varicella: varicella vaccine (see Chapter 17)

(c) Previously non-immunised individuals: polio, tetanus, diphtheria and

MenC (if under 23 years) (see relevant chapters)

(d) Individuals in specific high-risk groups: hepatitis B, hepatitis A,

MMR, Hib, MenC, influenza, pneumococcal, varicella and BCG

vaccines (see relevant chapters)

(e) Those travelling abroad (see Chapter 19).

(f) Those aged over 50 years: influenza (see Chapter 7).

(g) Those aged over 65 years: pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine

(PPV23) (see Chapter 12).

If you do not fall into the above groups you are not really catered for. The Well Woman clinics will screen and immunise for Rubella and HPV.

After that I think it’s down to your individual doctor. So if you want to make sure you are fully immunised ask your GP. Most women will be given the booster shot for Rubella with no issues, but it’s worth asking for others like Whooping Cough at the same time.

I’ll be talking to my Doctor in the next month or so and will update accordingly.


Here’s a useful link for those in the states:

And for those in the UK:

Vaccinating Adults