Childhood Vaccinations

MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine

The MMR vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. Two doses provide the best protection against measles, mumps and rubella for life.

These viruses spread easily between unvaccinated people. They can cause very serious illnesses that are not treatable with medication. They can also lead to serious problems including meningitis, hearing loss and problems during pregnancy. Parents or guardians of children who are not up to date with their two doses of the MMR vaccine should contact their GP practice to book an appointment.

When children should have the MMR vaccine

The MMR vaccine is given to babies and young children as part of the NHS vaccination schedule:

Child’s ageVaccine

1 year

MMR (1st dose)

3 years and 4 months

MMR (2nd dose)

For more information about the MMR vaccine visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/mmr-vaccine/

Flu vaccine for children

The children’s nasal spray flu vaccine is safe and effective. It’s offered every year to children to help protect them against flu.

Flu is caused by the influenza virus. It can be a very unpleasant illness for children. It can also lead to serious problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Children can catch and spread flu easily. Vaccinating them also protects others who are vulnerable to flu, such as babies and older people.

Click here to find out more about the children’s flu vaccine. 

Covid-19 vaccine for children

Covid-19 is a very infectious disease that can cause serious illness for children who have an underlying health condition. If your child is vulnerable, they will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination seasonally. Your child’s GP or consultant will let you know if your child needs a seasonal Covid-19 vaccination.

Click here to find out more about the Covid-19 vaccine. 

MenACWY vaccine

The MenACWY vaccine is given by a single injection into the upper arm and protects against 4 strains of the meningococcal bacteria – A, C, W and Y – which cause meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia).

students going to university for the first time should make sure they’ve had the MenACWY vaccine to prevent meningitis and septicaemia, which can be deadly.

The MenACWY vaccine is also routinely offered to teenagers in school Years 9 and 10.

Click here for more information on the MenACWY vaccine.

HPV vaccine

The HPV vaccine reduces your chances of getting human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that’s spread through skin contact (usually when having sex).

Most types of HPV are harmless. But some types are linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including cervical cancer, mouth cancer, anal cancer and penile cancer. HPV can also cause genital warts.

Click here for more information on the HPV vaccine. 

The whooping cough vaccine

The whooping cough vaccine protects babies and children from getting whooping cough. That’s why it’s important to have all the routine NHS vaccinations.

The whooping cough vaccine is routinely given as part of the:

If you’re pregnant you should also have the whooping cough vaccine – ideally between 16 and 32 weeks.

Find out more about the whooping cough vaccination in pregnancy

Other Childhood Vaccinations

The 6-in-1 vaccine helps protect against serious illnesses like polio and whooping cough. It’s given to babies when they’re 8, 12 and 16 weeks old. Click here to find out more about the 6-in-1 vaccine. 

The Rotavirus vaccine against rotavirus infection is given to babies as part of their routine childhood vaccinations. Rotavirus is a highly infectious stomach bug that typically affects babies and young children, causing diarrhoea and vomiting, tummy ache and a high temperature.

The vaccine is given as 2 doses, 4 weeks apart. Usually the first dose is given at 8 weeks, and the second dose at 12 weeks.

The vaccine is given as a liquid straight into the baby’s mouth for them to swallow.

The MenB vaccine will protect your baby against infection by meningococcal group B bacteria.

Meningococcal infections can be very serious, causing meningitis and sepsis. This can lead to severe brain damage, amputations and, sometimes, death.

Click here for more information on the MenB vaccine. 

The pneumococcal vaccine helps protect against serious illnesses like pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis. It’s recommended for people at higher risk of these illnesses, such as babies and adults aged 65 and over.

Click here for more information on the pneumococcal vaccine. 

The Hib/MenC vaccine is a single injection given to 1-year-old babies to boost their protection against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningitis C.

Hib and meningitis C infections are serious and potentially fatal. They can both cause meningitis and blood poisoning (sepsis).

Click here for more information on the Hib/ MenC vaccine. 

The 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine is offered to children from the age of 3 years and 4 months to boost their protection against 4 different serious conditions, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio. 

Click here for more information on the 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine. 

The teenage booster, also known as the 3-in-1 or the Td/IPV vaccine, is given to boost protection against 3 separate diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and polio.

It’s routinely given at secondary school (in school year 9) at the same time as the MenACWY vaccine.

Click here to find out more about the 3-in-1 teenage booster. 

Childhood Vaccinations leaflet

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