Which vaccinations does my child need to get in the UK?
The UK immunisation schedule for children
Getting your baby ready for your baby’s first injections can be a stressful time. Not knowing which vaccines need to be given, and when, can make this process even more stressful. Here, we’ll look at the UK vaccination schedule and why it’s important to follow it.
What vaccinations/immunisations does my child need?
Before birth, a baby receives natural immunity to some diseases from its mother. But this immunity quickly begins to wear off after they are born. The NHS recommends the first lot of vaccines when a baby is around 8 weeks old and a few more before they turn 18.
Here is a table of all the vaccinations your child will need and at what age they are recommended to have them.
United Kingdom's NHS Vaccination Schedule
Why does my child need the same vaccine more than once?
The vaccination schedule is designed to try and protect your child for life. To do this, some vaccines are given multiple times over a few years. This is because some vaccines offer high levels of protection after just one dose (such as the MMR vaccine) whilst others are not as effective (the typhoid vaccine, for example) and need to be a repeated a few times so that the benefits don’t wear off.
Can a baby really handle all of those vaccinations?
You might feel that giving too many vaccines at once will be too much for your baby to handle. But research has shown that there are no harmful effects from giving multiple vaccines at one time. Babies come into contact with huge numbers of different bacteria and viruses from the moment they are born and as their immune systems learn to fight them off, they become stronger. Vaccines simply add a few more (killed or weakened) germs to a baby’s immune system (less than they would usually be exposed to in everyday life!) so they can learn to fight them off too.
Will my baby have side-effects after the vaccination?
After your child is vaccinated, their immune system is hard at work learning how to fight off the disease they’ve been immunised against. Some children may have some mild side-effects as a result. A common side-effect is pain at the injection site and fever, which can be treated with paracetamol or ibuprofen * (children older than 3 months).
*Nurofen for Children Orange/Strawberry: Singles / Cold, Pain and Fever 100g/5ml Oral suspension / Baby Oral suspension /3 months to 9 years 100mg/5ml Oral suspension / 3 months to 12 years Oral suspension. Contains ibuprofen, for children over 3 months (weighing more than 5kg) to 12 years. For pain relief. Nurofen for children 100 mg, chewable capsules, soft. For fever and pain relief in children aged 7 to 12 years. Contains Ibuprofen. Always read the label. Use only as directed.If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. For further advice please speak to your doctor or pharmacist.