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, free on the NHS, and the age at which they should ideally be given.
- 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) given as a 5-in-1 single jab known as DTaP/IPV/Hib Pneumococcal Vaccination.
- Rotavirus drops for winter diarrhoea & vomiting
- Meningitis B, first dose
- 5-in-1, second dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib) Meningitis C
- Rotavirus drops, second dose
- 5-in-1, third dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib) Pneumococcal Vaccination, second dose Meningitis C, second dose
- Meningitis B, second dose
Between 12 and 13 months:
- Meningitis C, third dose Hib, fourth dose (Hib/MenC given as a single jab) MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), given as a single jab Pneumococcal Vaccination, third dose
- Meningitis B, third dose
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
Around 18-25 years:
- All 1st year university students will be offered a single Meningitis C vaccination.
65 and over:
- Flu (every year) Pneumococcal
Aged 70 & 78 year olds only
- Will be offered a shingles vaccination
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.