A Parent’s Guide

Common childhood illnesses & well-being
Children aged 0 - 4

Immunisations

Immunisations

Protect your child now and in the future

Immunisations, also known as vaccinations are usually given by injection. Children in the UK are offered vaccinations against a variety of diseases as part of the Healthy Child Programme. You can get advice on the vaccinations from your GP, practice nurse or health visitor. A record is kept in the Parent Held Child Health Record (Red Book), which is a book you keep containing information on your child’s health.

Immunisations are mainly given during the first five years. It’s important to have vaccinations at the right age to keep the risk of disease as low as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask your health visitor or GP for advice - that’s what they are there for! Childhood immunisations are free and most are given at your GP’s surgery.

Some immunisations are given more than once to make sure the protection continues. This is known as a booster, so make sure your child gets it.

If you are pregnant, you will be offered the whooping cough vaccine at your GP’s surgery. The ideal time is 28 to 32 weeks of pregnancy so that your baby will be born protected against whooping cough infection, a very serious infection for young babies.

GP

GP says

Immunisations are essential to protect children from diseases which can be very serious, causing long-term complications and even death.

If you wish to have further information on childhood immunisations, visit www.nhs.uk or speak to your heath visitor, practice nurse or GP.

When to immunise Diseases protected against

8 weeks

DTaP/IPV/Hib and PCV and MenB and Rotavirus
diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), inactivated polio vaccine, haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine and meningococcal B vaccine and rotavirus vaccine

12 weeks

DTaP/IPV/Hib and Rotavirus
diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), inactivated polio vaccine, haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) vaccine and rotavirus vaccine

16 weeks

DTaP/IPV/Hib and PCV and MenB
diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), inactivated polio vaccine, haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) vaccine and meningococcal B vaccine

Between 12 and 13 months old - within a month of the first birthday

Hib/MenC haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) vaccine and meningococcal C vaccine
PCV pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
MenB meningococcal B vaccine (Booster)
MMR Measles, mumps and rubella

Two to seven year olds (including children in school years 1, 2 and 3)

Influenza (flu) - nasal spray vaccine in autumn each year

3 years 4 months

DTaP/IPV/Hib diphtheria or low dose diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis, inactivated polio vaccine, (Pre-School Booster)
MMR Measles, mumps and rubella

Source: NHS Immunisation Information.
*Babies should have a dose of liquid paracetamol following meningococcal group B disease vaccination to reduce the risk of fever.

1

Immunisation begins at two months, when baby's natural immunity to illness, begins to drop.

2

The protection immunisations offer to your child against serious diseases are worth the small amount of pain.

3

Immunisations don’t just protect your child during childhood, they protect them for life.