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What Immunisations Does My Child Need?

What immunisations does my child need? 

We have vaccines all through our life but most of them happen before we’re 5. 

Why does my child need vaccinations? 

Vaccinations (sometimes called immunisations) help protect your child against getting seriously ill. They stop millions of deaths every year and have wiped out diseases like smallpox and polio in the UK. If we all stopped having vaccines then we’d see millions of people dying from diseases like tetanus and measles. 

We know some parents are unsure about getting their child immunised and it’s a personal choice. But the World Health Organization (WHO) says vaccine hesitancy (not wanting a vaccine or delaying getting one) is one of the biggest threats to global health. If you want to do further research on vaccines we’d suggest you start with good sources of information like the NHS and avoid the conspiracy theorists on TikTok. 

What immunisations will my child have? 

You’ll probably remember the injections your toddler had as a baby and there are a few more between 1 and going to school. You should get an invitation to attend through your GP and if you don’t it’s a good idea to chase them up. 

1 year old

  • Hib/MenC - protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningitis C
  • MMR - protects against measles, mumps and rubella
  • Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine - protects against pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis 
  • MenB - protects against meningitis and sepsis 

2-10 years old

Flu vaccine (every year) - protects against flu, a nasal vaccine rather than a jab

3 years and 4 months 

  • Second dose MMR - protects against measles, mumps and rubella
  • 4-in-1 pre-school booster - a booster to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio, before they go into the germ factory that is school

(Quick Covid-19 note: There are no plans to offer kids under 12 the Covid-19 vaccine right now). 

There are some kids who can’t have immunisations, but it’s rare. If your child had a serious allergic reaction to any vaccine or has a weak immune system then you need to chat to your GP or health visitor before you go for any jabs. 

What to expect after a vaccine

Most toddlers tolerate vaccines well (apart from a bit of crying when someone sticks a needle in them!) but you can expect them to feel grumpy afterwards (and often for a day or two). They might have a red patch or swelling where the jab went in and a high temp for a day or two. You can treat with hugs and paracetamol (follow the instructions on the pack). 

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