Guide to childhood vaccines
Wednesday 20th August
All children in the UK are offered vaccinations against key diseases for free on the NHS so it’s important you know what your child needs and when.
Take a look at this list of the routine vaccinations that are recommended by the NHS and speak to your GP if you are unsure whether you or your child have had all your vaccines.
- 5-in-1 vaccine - this is one of the first vaccines your child will have and it protects against five illnesses: tetanus, polio, whooping cough, diphtheria and Hib (or haemophilus influenzae type b).
- Rotavirus vaccine – this vaccine, which is given as a liquid for your child to swallow, protects against rotavirus infection, which is a highly infectious stomach bug.
- Pneumococcal vaccine – your baby will receive this vaccine as three separate injections, at 2 months, 4 months and at 12-13 months. It protects against Pneumococcal infections (e.g. bronchitis, sinusitis and meningitis).
- Meningitis C vaccine – this vaccine protects your child against meningococcal group C bacteria, which can cause two very serious illnesses - meningitis and septicaemia.
- Second doses of the 5-in-1 vaccine and the rotavirus vaccine are also given at 3 months
- A third dose of the 5-in-1 vaccine is then given at 4 months, along with a second dose of the pneumococcal vaccine
- Hib/Men C booster vaccine - this is given shortly after your child’s first birthday as a single injection to boost protection against meningitis C and Hib.
- Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) vaccine – this vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) and is given as a single injection into the muscle of the upper arm or thigh
- A third dose of the pneumococcal vaccine is also given after your child’s first birthday
2 – 4 years old
- Flu vaccine - from the autumn/winter of 2014/2015 the annual nasal spray flu vaccine will be available on the NHS for all children aged two, three and four years. It will be given as a single dose of nasal spray squirted up each nostril.
- 4-in-1 pre-school booster – this is given to children at the age of three years and fourth months to boost their protection against polio, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.
- A second dose of the MMR vaccine is also given to children when they are three years and four months old
12-13 years old
- Cervical cancer vaccine (girls only) - all girls aged 12 to 13 are now offered a HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme. This protects against cervical cancer.
13- 15 years old
- Meningitis C booster - this vaccine is available to boost your child’s immunisation against meningitis C
13- 18 years old
- 3-in-1 teenage booster - this vaccine boosts your child's protection against three diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and polio. Find out when the three in one booster is needed.
This article has been brought to you using public health information freely available online (click on links in the article for more information). benenden health has not provided any direct medical advice within this article. Please consult the sources provided if you would like further information or support.