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, kids should have their jabs at the right age to protect them as early as possible and minimise the risk of infection.
Here’s 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 and hepatitis B) given as a 6-in-1 single jab known as DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB
- Meningococcal group B (MenB)
- Rotavirus Gastroenteritis
- 6-in-1, second dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB)
- Pneumooccal infection (first dose)
- 6-in-1, third dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib)
- Pneumococcal infection
- Meningitis B,
Between 12 and 13 months:
- Hib and MenC
- MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), given as a single jab
- Pneumococcal infection,
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 (girls only): three jabs given within six months
Around 13-18 years:
- Diphtheria, tetanus and polio booster (Td/IPV), given as a single jab
65 and over:
- Flu (every year)
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, tuberculosis (TB), seasonal flu and chickenpox. See the NHS Choices pages on vaccines for adults to find out whether you should have one.
Read more about vaccines for kids on the NHS Choices website.