What is an immunisation?
An immunisation is a powerful way of protecting your child against a disease.
It works by prompting your child’s immune system to produce antibodies against a particular disease, so that if they are exposed to that disease in the future, their body can more effectively fight it off.
Your child will be offered immunisations against a wide range of dangerous diseases while they are young, to make sure they are protected before they come into contact with them.
What immunisations should my child have?
Your child will be offered free immunisations against a range of diseases at different stages as they grow up:
- 5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib). This is one jab that helps protect against five diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Pneumococcal infection (PCV)
- 5-in-1, second dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib)
- Meningitis C
- 5-in-1, third dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib)
- Pneumococcal infection, second dose
- Meningitis C, second dose
Between 12 and 13 months:
- Hib/Men C booster. This is a single jab with a third dose for Meningococcal C (MenC), and a fourth dose for Hib.
- MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), given as a single jab
- Pneumococcal infection, third dose
3 years and 4 months, or soon after:
- MMR second jab
- 4-in-1 pre-school booster (DtaP/IPV). This is a single jab with vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio.
Around 12-13 years:
- HPV vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer (girls only): three jabs given within six months
Around 13-18 years:
- 3-in-1 teenage booster (Td/IPV). Given as a single jab which contains vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus and polio
What to expect at your child’s immunisation
Each time your child is due to have an immunisation, your local GP practice or child health department will send you a reminder. The jabs themselves are usually done by nurses at your local baby clinic.
After your child’s immunisation
After some immunisations, your child might develop a mild fever. This is common, and is simply known as post-immunisation fever.
If you have any questions about immunisations, just talk to your GP, health visitor or practice nurse.
Where can I find out more?
You can find more about your child’s immunisations, and how to look out for post-immunisation fever, in our handy guide.
- Dr. Carol Cooper on caring for a child with a feverWatch our short video to find out how best to take care of your baby if they have a fever.Watch our expert tips video
- Post-immunisation fever Your baby may develop a slight fever after an immunisation. It’s normally nothing to worry about, but it can be unpleasant. Discover how you can help.More about post-immunisation fever
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