Protect your child now and in the future

Immunisations, also known as vaccinations are usually given by injection. Children in the UK are offered vaccinations against a variety of diseases as part of the Healthy Child Programme. You can get advice on the vaccinations from your GP, practice nurse or health visitor. A record is kept in the Parent Held Child Health Record (Red Book), which is a book you keep containing information on your child’s health.

Immunisations are mainly given during the first five years. It’s important to have vaccinations at the right age to keep the risk of disease as low as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask your health visitor or GP for advice - that’s what they are there for! Childhood immunisations are free and most are given at your GP’s surgery.

Some immunisations are given more than once to make sure the protection continues. This is known as a booster, so make sure your child gets it.

If you are pregnant, you will be offered the whooping cough vaccine at your GP’s surgery. The ideal time is 28 to 32 weeks of pregnancy so that your baby will be born protected against whooping cough infection, a very serious infection for young babies.

GP says

Immunisations are essential to protect children from diseases which can be very serious, causing long-term complications and even death.

If you wish to have further information on childhood immunisations, visit or speak to your heath visitor, practice nurse or GP.

When to immunise Diseases protected against

From birth to one year - for babies who are at a higher risk

protects against tuberculosis (TB)

8 weeks

DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB and PCV and MenB and Rotavirus
diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and hepatitis B, pneumococcal (13 serotypes), meningococcal group B (MenB), rotavirus gastroenteritis

12 weeks

DTaP/IPV/HibHepB and Rotavirus
diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Hib and hepatitis B, rotavirus

16 weeks

DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB and PCV and MenB
diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Hib and hepatitis B, pneumococcal (13 serotypes), MenB

One year old on or after the child’s first birthday

Hib/MenC haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) vaccine and meningococcal C vaccine
PCV pneumococcal
MMR measles, mumps and rubella (German measles)
MenB booster MenB

Two to eight years old (including children in reception class and school years 1-4)

Live influenza vaccine influenza (each year from September)

Three years and sixteen weeks old or soon after

DTaP/IPV and MMR (check first dose given) diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio, measles, mumps and rubella

Source: NHS Immunisation Information.
*Babies should have a dose of liquid paracetamol following meningococcal group B disease vaccination to reduce the risk of fever.

See the link for video

Make sure you keep your child’s Red Book in a safe place. It is your only complete record of their childhood immunisations and it is often needed later in life. The meningococcal group B vaccine will be introduced as part of the routine childhood vaccination programme, check with your health visitor.

For updates please see


Immunisation begins at two months, when baby's natural immunity to illness begins to drop.


The protection immunisations offer to your child against serious diseases are worth the small amount of pain.


Immunisations don’t just protect your child during childhood, they protect them for life.