HSE to administer antibiotics in Boyle school today

A Health Service Executive team will once again visit Abbey College in Boyle today Wednesday February 21st between 9am and 12 midday to offer antibotics to any student and staff member who did not receive these last week following the confirmed cases of meningococcal disease in the school.

The HSE previously attended the school on February 15th and administered antibiotics to 397 students and 41 staff with the aim of reducing the risk of further cases of the disease. According to the HSE “Given that it was mid-term this was a very high turnout”.

Today, pupils will be called in by year group during the morning.

“Please ensure that the consent form that was available by email is completed and forms for those aged 15 and under have to be signed by a parent or guardian. Public Health staff will be available today to answer any questions” according to the HSE.

They continued: “We are aware this has been a stressful time for the community. Meningococcal bacteria usually do not spread well between people, except with close psychical contact and the risk that any one person will become sick remains low. As time passes, and with antibiotics given, the chances of further cases becomes even lower.”

“Public health will continue to work closely with the school in investigating and managing this incident. We would like to thank the pupils, parents, guardians, staff and the school for their cooperation”, the HSE concluded.


Separately, the HSE has advised that the schools immunisation programme has commenced nationwide.

Dr Lucy Jessop, Director of the HSE National Immunisation Office, explained, “First year students in secondary school are now bringing home immunisation consent packs. We ask parents to keep an eye out and check their child’s school bag if needed. A simple form needs to be completed and returned to the school as soon as possible to make sure they don’t miss out”.

“You will be asked to provide details about your child, like their date of birth and contact details. You will also be asked some questions about your child’s health and their vaccination history. Don’t forget to complete the consent box”.

“When the completed form is sent back to the school your child will receive their vaccination when the HSE vaccination team visits.”

There are three vaccines offered free of charge through the schools programme:

1. Tetanus, booster vaccine, (Tdap) – this vaccine protects your child from developing diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.

2. Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) booster vaccine – this protects your child from potentially life-threatening meningococcal (meningitis and septicaemia) group A, C, W and Y infection.

3. HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine – the protects against almost all cases of cervical cancer, 7 out of 10 vaginal and 5 out of 10 vulval cancers, 9 out of 10 HPV related anal cancers and 9 out of 10 cases of genital warts.

Dr Jessop continued, “It is safe to receive all three vaccines at once. Vaccination is vitally important to protect children from preventable diseases such as whooping cough and meningitis amongst others. We know that meningitis can become very serious very quickly. We also know that HPV causes 1 in 20 cancers worldwide.

“The majority of vaccines will be given on school premises but if this isn’t possible, the HSE will invite students and their parents to a local clinic. These vaccines are also available to students who are in special schools or are home schooled in the same age group.’’

For more information about the different vaccines and the school programmes visit the HSE website here or visit

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