Irishhealth.com and Aptamil have launched an app and an SMS/email reminder service to help parents keep track of their children’s vaccination history.
The app and SMS/email service sends the child’s immunisation history and also sends timely messages to parents about further vaccines.
Parents enter basic information on the child, such as their first name, their date of birth, county of residence, blood type and GP details, along with an email address.
The tracker then gives a vaccination schedule listing all of the child’s vaccinations, when they are due and what they are for. They also provide information on the benefits of each vaccine, sourced from the Royal College of Physicians.
The record of the child’s vaccinations is permanent and they can access it from anywhere in the world.
Uptake in vaccinations
The Child Immunisation Tracker was launched in Dublin to coincide with WHO’s European Immunisation Week, which runs from 23-30 April to highlight the importance of keeping vaccine-preventable diseases under control in Europe.
“The ‘Child Immunisation Tracker’ is a clear example of how, by empowering parents, user-friendly technology can deliver tangible public health benefits in terms of reducing the incidence of life-threatening childhood illnesses,” said John Gibbons, publisher of Irishhealth.com.
The tool was made in response to concerns raised about the increase in non-compliance in the vaccination schedule and the decline in the uptake of meningitis vaccines. A HPSC Disease Surveillance Report in March 2011 showed there was a low uptake of the three doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) compared with other vaccines.
“Anything that helps to ensure compliance with the vaccination schedule in the State is to be welcomed,” said Health Minister James Reilly.
“This tool will help to simplify the process for parents and will be particularly useful when it comes to reminders.
“It is critical that we as a nation maintain a high level of immunisation amongst the population and also play our part in ensuring compliance across the European region,” said Reilly.
The Child Immunisation Tracker is available free on iTunes, or for parents without an iPhone, a free web-based SMS and email reminder service on Irishhealth.com.