Immunisations in the first four years
If a vaccine is given when a baby still has antibodies to the disease, the antibodies can stop the vaccine working. This is why routine childhood immunisations do not start until a baby is two months old, before the antibodies a baby gets from its mother have stopped working. This is also why it is important for parents to stick to the immunisation schedule, as a delay can leave a baby unprotected. A delay can increase the chance of adverse reactions to some vaccines, such as pertussis (whooping cough).
Recent changes to the immunisation schedule (2006)
Routine pneumococcal vaccine is being introduced as part of a series of changes to the childhood immunisation programme announced by the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson. In addition to this the current three doses of MenC vaccine will be respaced at three and four months of age with a booster at 12 months. Also a booster dose of Hib vaccine will be given at 12 months.
|When to immunise||What is given?||How is it given?|
|2 months||Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and HiB (DTaP/IPV/HiB) plus pneumococcal vaccine||Two injections|
|3 months||Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and HiB (DTaP/IPV/HiB) plus MenC vaccine||Two injections|
|4 months||Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and HiB (DTaP/IPV/HiB) plus MenC vaccine plus pneumococcal vaccine||Three injections|
|12 months||Hib and MenC||Two injections|
|13 months||Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and pneumococcal vaccine||Two injections|
|3 years and 4 months to 5 years old||Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and polio (dTaP/IPV or DTaP/IPV)||One injection|
|Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)||One injection|
|13 to 18 years old||Diphtheria, tetanus, polio (Td/IPV)||One injection|
There are some excellent websites that will answer all your questions and queries about immunisation and vaccination. If you are worried about giving the MMR vaccine, you should access the MMR site.
www.mmrthefacts.nhs.uk: This website has been put together to answer any questions you might have about MMR. You can look for information and resources in the MMR library, ask an expert panel a question, and read up on the latest news stories relating to MMR.
www.immunisation.nhs.uk: The most comprehensive, up-to-date and accurate source of information on vaccines, disease and immunisation in the UK.