New figure show Donegal has a lower than average take-up of the MMR vaccine compared to the rest of the country.
According to The National Healthcare Quality Report for this year. 89 per cent of parents in Donegal opted to get the the first dose of the MMR.
Nationally, this figure was on average 92%.
The MMR infant vaccine is for measles, mumps, and rubella, also known as German measles.
The 89% uptake in the MMR vaccine at 24 months in the second quarter of 2018 in County Donegal increased to 90% in the fourth quarter.
But this fell to 85% in the most recent figures for the first quarter of this year.
Uptake of the second dose of MMR administered by the GPs in Co Donegal is at 90% in the most recent report – an increase of 2 %.
The HSE says that County Donegal uptakes of MMR are ‘suboptimal’ which, it says, ‘exposes the population to an increased risk of measles outbreaks.’
Meanwhile, the Health Minister says all progress will be lost if Ireland loses its status of being measles free.
Uptake in parts of the country are as low as 84 percent, but it needs to be at least 95 percent to achieve elimination and prevent future transmission of the virus.
So fr this year, 52 potential cases of measles have been identified, compared to 77 in all of last year.
HSE staff in immunisation, public health nurses as well as general practitioners and practice nurses continue to promote immunisation at every opportunity.
Meanwhile, the overall MMR uptake in Sligo/Leitrim is above the national average of 92%.
At 24 months in Sligo/Leitrim, it was 94% in the second quarter of 2018, 96% in Quarter 3 of 2018, 93% in Quarter 4 of 2018, and 94% for Quarter 1 of 2019
Uptake of the second dose of MMR administered by the GPs in Sligo/Leitrim to children at age 4-5 years was 95% for 2018.
The HSE points out that the 95% target set by the World Health Organisation was achieved.
It says the 2019 figures will not be reported until October.
It also says work is on-going in the immunisation office in Sligo/Leitrim to achieve a high uptake of the second dose of MMR.
And HSE staff in immunisation, public health nurses, general practitioners and practice nurses continue to promote immunisation at every opportunity.