A programme to vaccinate Leaving Cert and College students against measles is being considered.

It's feared there could be a large outbreak, after years of falling uptake of the MMR vaccine.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly will brief his cabinet colleagues today on a rapid risk assessment carried out by the HSE on the potential for a measles outbreak here.

The disease which can cause pneumonia, swelling of the brain and death in severe cases, has been on the rise throughout Europe.

Vaccination rates for the MMR which protects against it, have fallen below the critical level of 95 per cent in Ireland, and almost 1 in 5 males aged 18 and 19 are unvaccinated.

It's hoped a catchup programme for Leaving Cert and College students would bring in many of those whose parents were put off the MMR jab because of a false and now discredited link with autism.


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