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Baby and child immunisations

Immunisations are the safest and most effective way to protect your child against serious diseases.  Diseases such as measles, rubella, mumps, whooping cough, diptheria, polio, meningitis and types of pneumonia can be devastating and still are in some parts of the world.  The World Health Organisation estimates that 1.5 million deaths occur every year from vaccine preventable diseases.  Not all of these are in the developing world: Havering has seen outbreaks of measles and pertussis (whooping cough) in recent years. 

Here in the UK we have ready access to free vaccinations to keep our families safe from the awful effects of these infections.  Most childhood immunisations provide lifelong protection. It is vitally important that during these unprecedented times children are vaccinated to keep them safe and well. 

You are encouraged to bring your children for their immunisations according to the UK schedule. These immunisations are due at 8, 12 and 16 weeks, 1 year and 3years 4 months before starting school.  It is important to complete vaccinations at the right times or you child may be vulnerable.

Children must receive a number of doses of some vaccines to be fully protected, so please attend all the appointments.

These are the vaccinations your baby will need:

8 weeks:

12 weeks:

  • 6-in-1 vaccine – 2nd dose
  • PCV (pneumococcal) vaccine
  • RV (rotavirus) vaccine – 2nd dose

16 weeks:

  • 6-in-1 vaccine – 3rd dose
  • MenB vaccine – 2nd dose

1 year:

  • Hib/MenC vaccine given as a single jab containing vaccines against meningitis C (1st dose) and Hib (4th dose)
  • MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella), given as a single jab
  • PCV (pneumococcal) – 2nd dose
  • MenB vaccine – 3rd dose

2-11 years (including children in Reception and school years 1 to 7):

3 years and 4 months:

  • MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) – 2nd dose
  • 4-in-1 pre-school booster – given as a single jab containing vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough or pertussis, and polio.

Remember!

It is never too late!  If you have missed, or are late, with immunisations these can still be given by the practice nurse. 

Our nurses are happy to discuss any concerns prior to vaccination.  There are also answers to some common questions at the bottom of this page.

All clinic rooms in the surgery are sanitised before and after consultations and the nurse wears PPE to keep everyone safe.  

We can offer early morning and late evening appointments to accommodate working parents.

Please book an appointment with the practice nurse who will be happy to see you and your child.

The red book

Your baby’s Personal Child Health Record is also known as the red book or PCHR. It’s used to record your child’s weight and height, vaccinations they’ve been given and other important health information. You can also add information yourself – it’s a great way of keeping track of your child’s progress. Remember to take it with you when your baby has appointments at the clinic, GP or hospital.

Frequently asked questions:

What is immunisation?

Immunisation is a way of protecting against serious diseases. Once we have been immunised against a disease, our bodies are more able to fight that disease if we come into contact with it.

Why do we need immunisation?

Our bodies have a natural defence system against disease, called the immune system. The immune system produces substances called antibodies which help fight off infection and prevent disease. However, many diseases can cause serious long lasting health problems and even death before we can build up antibodies. Immunisations are given to strengthen the immune system to fight off those diseases if they come into contact with them.

Around the world, more than 15 million people a year die from infectious diseases. More than half of these are children under the age of five. Most of these deaths could have been prevented by immunisation.

In the UK these diseases are kept at bay by the high immunisation rates.

If these diseases have effectively disappeared in this country, why do we need to immunise against them?

Vaccines have been used so successful in the UK, diseases such as polio and diphtheria have effectively disappeared from this country.

However, as people travel around the world, there is a risk that they will bring these diseases back into the UK. The diseases may spread to people who haven’t been immunised.

Immunisation doesn’t just protect the individual, it also helps to protect the family and wider community, especially those who, for medical reasons, can’t be immunised.

Do I have to pay for immunisations?

All immunisations recommended by the Department of health are free.

This includes; the seasonal Influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations for those at highest risk of serious illness from Influenza or pneumococcal disease.

It also includes all the vaccines recommended for children in the national schedule, It is important that your child has their immunisations at the right age. This will help keep the risk of your child catching these diseases as low as possible.

Your GP or Practice nurse will be able to advise you.

How do we know vaccines are safe?

Before a vaccine is licensed, its safety and effectiveness have to be thoroughly tested. After they have been licensed, the safety of vaccines continues to be monitored.

Any rare side effects that are discovered can then be assessed further. All medicines can cause side effects, but research from around the world shows vaccines are among the very safest.

Vaccines contain a small part of the bacterium or virus that causes the disease, or tiny amounts of the chemicals that the bacterium produces. Vaccines work by causing the body’s immune system to make antibodies.

Immunisation is the safest and most effective way of protecting against serious diseases.

Useful links

  • Immunisations NHS provides useful information about routine childhood immunisations, which vaccines are given when and a host of Frequently Asked Questions from parents