Immunisation is important for all young babies, children and adults to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Vaccination schedules are constantly being assessed and developed to offer the best protection against these diseases and we are fortunate that through successful immunisation programs, it is extremely rare for us to see infectious diseases in modern medicine.
Below are the scheduled dates that are recommended for vaccination:
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.
- 5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib).
This single jab contains vaccines to protect against five separate diseases - 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).
- Pneumococcal infection
Between 12 and 13 months:
3 years and 4 months, or soon after:
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
65 and over:
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), flu and chickenpox.
Travel and other vaccines
There are also optional vaccines that you may be able to have free on the NHS from your local surgery, including travel vaccinations, such as hepatitis A, typhoid and cholera. See our sections on travel vaccines to find out more about whether you should have one.
If you’re not sure whether you or your child have had all your vaccinations, ask your GP or practice nurse
In addition to this schedule, occasionally booster vaccinations are necessary, such as in the event of a disease outbreak. Routine BCG vaccination is no longer given to every child but focused on those 'at risk' groups. These include babies born from overseas migrants and target groups within inner city areas such as London, where the highest incidence of disease is found.
For further information about vaccinations and the diseases they prevent, please visit NHS Immunisations website.