Childhood Immunisations
Childhood Immunisations

Childhood Immunisations

Vaccines are the most effective way to protect your child from many infectious diseases that would otherwise be very dangerous or even fatal if contracted.

Pathologists – experts in diseases and how they are spread – highly recommend that all children are given a complete schedule of vaccinations starting when they are babies to protect them against deadly diseases such as polio, tetanus, and diphtheria.

Why Are Vaccinations So Important?


Vaccinations are by far the best thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against diseases and ill health. Vaccinations help prevent millions of diseases worldwide every year and were responsible for preventing the deaths of an estimated 36 million children under the age of five between 2000 and 2019.

Since vaccines were introduced to the UK, diseases that used to kill millions of people, such as smallpox, polio, and tetanus, have now disappeared or are very rarely seen.

However, if people stop getting vaccinated, infectious diseases can quickly start spreading again.

There are also people, including children, who are unable to get vaccinations due to conditions such as leukaemia. However, if enough people get vaccinated, diseases are considerably less likely to spread, helping to protect even those without vaccinations. By getting your child vaccinated, you are helping to protect the most vulnerable people in our society.

What You Need to Know About Vaccinating Your Child:


There is a lot of misinformation about vaccines spread online. Getting your information from medical professionals and trusted organisations such as the NHS and the World Health Organisation (WHO) is essential.

Vaccines DO:


  • They do help protect you and your children from many severe or even deadly diseases

  • They do protect people who can’t get vaccinated.

  • They do undergo rigorous safety testing before being used and are continually monitored after being introduced.

  • They do reduce or even eliminate diseases.

  • They can have mild side effects, such as feeling under the weather or having a sore arm for 2-3 days.

Vaccines DON'T:


  • They don’t overload or weaken the immune system. They are safe to give to adults and children, even several at a time.

  • They don’t contain mercury (thiomersal).

  • They don’t contain ingredients that cause harm – only ingredients essential to them working as safely as possible.

  • They don’t cause autism – studies have found no link between vaccines and autism.

NHS Vaccinations: When to Have Them




8 weeks 6-in-1 vaccine
Rotavirus vaccine
MenB vaccine
12 weeks 6-in-1 vaccine (2nd dose)
Pneumococcal vaccine
Rotavirus vaccine (2nd dose)
16 weeks 6-in-1 vaccine (3rd dose)
MenB vaccine (2nd dose)
1 year Hib/MenC vaccine
MMR vaccine
Pneumococcal vaccine (2nd dose)
2 to 15 years Children's flu vaccine (every year until children finish Year 11 of secondary school)
3 years and 4 months MMR vaccine (2nd dose)
4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine
12 to 13 years HPV vaccine
14 years 3-in-1 teenage booster vaccine
MenACWY vaccine

Vaccination Tips for Parents


Vaccinations are vital to your child’s health. However, they aren’t the most fun to have. Still, there are some things you can try to help your child’s vaccination appointment go smoothly.

  • Remember to pack your child’s Personal Child Health Record (PCHR). This is often known as the “red book.”

  • Let the practice know if someone other than you or your child’s parent is taking your child to their vaccination appointment.

  • Dress your baby in easily removable clothes, as babies have their vaccination shots in the thigh.

  • Dress toddlers and older children in loose clothes or clothes with short sleeves that can be rolled up.

  • Give yourself ample time to get to the appointment, as rushing can make your child feel more stressed and anxious.

  • Try to stay calm during the vaccination – while it’s natural to worry about your child, it might also make your child more anxious or restless.

  • Use simple language to let your child know what to expect, but try not to make it sound too scary, even if you are scared of needles yourself.

  • Try to keep your child’s attention during and shortly after the vaccination. Distraction can be an effective technique to make the process less stressful.

If you are worried about any aspect of the vaccination process, speak to a nurse or a doctor.

How to Book Your Child’s Vaccine Appointment:


You will usually be informed by your GP surgery when your child is due to have their vaccinations. However, please don’t hesitate to contact your GP if you know that your child is due for their vaccination. If you aren’t yet registered with a GP, you can do so here.

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