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Advocacy medal named in honour of Laura Brennan

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Laura Brennan’s advocacy work has been acknowledged with the renaming of a medal in her honour.

Minister for Health, Simon Harris has launched the Vaccine Alliance aimed at boosting the uptake of childhood vaccines and reducing vaccine hesitancy. Healthcare professionals, policy makers, patient advocates, students, and representatives from groups most affected by vaccine hesitancy will be included in the Alliance.

Both the HSE and Department of Health credited Laura with leading a nineteen percent rise in the uptake of the HPV vaccine. She carried out such promotional work while dealing with a terminal diagnosis which claimed her life in March 2019.

As a result of the late Ennis woman’s work, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland has agreed to rename its Medal for Patient Advocacy, the ‘Laura Brennan Advocacy Medal’. Her parents, Larry and Bernie attended the launch of the Vaccine Alliance. Since her death, both of her parents along with her brothers Kevin, Fergal and Colin have carried out her wishes of continuing to raise awareness of the HPV vaccine.

Membership of the Alliance will be open to organisations and individuals that support its principles and will be finalised between now and December. In addition to the Alliance, the Minister is to meet with social media companies to discuss their efforts in combating vaccine misinformation.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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