One of the most important things that a parent can do for their child is to make sure that they have all their routine childhood vaccinations. It's the most effective way of keeping them protected against infectious diseases.
Ideally, children should have their jabs at the right age to protect them as early as possible and minimise the risk of infection.
Below is a checklist of the vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK for free on the NHS, and the age at which you should ideally have them.
- Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b, (Hib, a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children) given as a 6-in-1 single jab known as DTaP/IPV/Hib and Hepatitis B.
- Meningococcal group B (MenB)
- 6-in-1, second dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB)
- 6-in-1, third dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB)
- Meningitis B, second dose
Between 12 and 13 months
- Meningitis B, third dose
- Hib, fourth dose (Hib/MenC given as a single jab)
- MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), given as a single jab
- Pneumococcal infection, second dose
3 years and 4 months, or soon after
- MMR second jab
- Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio (DtaP/IPV), given as a 4-in-1 pre-school booster
Around 12-13 years
- Cervical cancer (HPV) vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer: a course of two injections given at school
Around 13-18 years
- Diphtheria, tetanus and polio booster (Td/IPV), given as a single jab
- Meningitis A,C,W and Y
Vaccines For Risk Groups
- People who fall into certain risk groups may be offered extra vaccines. These include vaccinations against diseases such as hepatitis B, seasonal flu, pneumococcal and shingles. See the NHS Choices pages on vaccines for adults to find out whether you should have one.