What are childhood vaccines?
Childhood vaccines are designed to help protect your child against certain dangerous childhood illnesses. Most are given as injections (or ‘jabs’) while some are given as oral medicines.
When are vaccines given?
Vaccines are routinely given to babies and young children on the NHS at certain intervals from a young age. In early childhood, vaccines are recommended at:
- eight weeks old
- twelve weeks old
- sixteen weeks old
- one year old
- three years and four months
Health professionals may recommend other, less routine, vaccines at other times during childhood,
possibly including travel vaccines if you’re visiting particular countries. These sometimes need to be paid
for, depending on the vaccine, as private treatment.
What kinds of illnesses are routinely vaccinated against?
Different illnesses are vaccinated against at different times in children. Sometimes several vaccines are included in the same jab. Here are just two examples:
- The ‘six-in-one vaccine’. This protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) and hepatitis B. It’s currently given to babies at eight, twelve and sixteen weeks.
- The MMR vaccine. This protects against measles, mumps and rubella. It’s currently given at one year, and then again at three years and four months.