When will my baby receive their first vaccinations?
The NHS routine childhood immunisation programme offers five sets of vaccinations before your child reaches school age.
The first vaccinations are offered at eight weeks old, the next invitation comes four weeks later, and again four weeks after that. There is then a set of vaccinations around the time of your child’s first birthday, and then at roughly 40 months (three years and four months) – this set is normally referred to as the pre-school immunisations.
In addition to all those listed below, from the age of two onwards all children will receive the flu vaccine each winter, via a nasal spray.
6-in-1 vaccine – 1st dose: this injection will offer protection against 6 serious childhood conditions. Diphtheria, hepatitis B, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), polio, tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis).
MenB vaccine – 1st dose: this injection will provide protection from meningococcal (meningitis) group B.
Rotavirus vaccine – 1st dose: this vaccine is administered orally (via their mouth) and protects against rotavirus gastroenteritis.
6-in-1 vaccine – 2nd dose.
PCV vaccine – 1st dose: this injection provides protection against pneumococcal infections which can lead to pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis.
Rotavirus vaccine – 2nd dose.
6-in-1 vaccine – 3rd dose.
MenB vaccine – 2nd dose.
Hib/MenC vaccine - this combined vaccine provides protection against both Meningitis C (1st dose) and Hib (4th dose).
MMR vaccine – 1st dose: this injection provides protection from measles, mumps and rubella.
PCV vaccine – 2nd dose.
MenB vaccine – 3rd dose.
4-in-1 vaccine - this injection contains booster doses to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio (4th doses).
MMR vaccine – 2nd dose.
The nasal spray flu vaccine is offered to all children as part of the winter flu campaign after they have reached their second birthday and then every year following. Your GP surgery will be in touch with an appointment until your child starts school. When your child starts school you will be offered the vaccine by our School Age Immunisation Team.
Some babies will have side effects.
- have redness, swelling or tenderness where they had the injection (this will slowly disappear on its own)
- be a bit irritable and feel unwell
- have a temperature (fever), this is more common when babies have the MenB vaccine alongside their other vaccines
- babies having the rotavirus vaccine may get mild diarrhoea
A fever is a temperature over 37.5°C. Fevers are quite common in young children, but are usually mild. If your child’s face feels hot to the touch and they look red or flushed, he or she may have a fever.
You should check their temperature with a thermometer.
Keep your child cool by
- making sure they don’t have too many layers of clothes or blankets on
- giving them plenty of cool drinks
- a dose of infant paracetamol liquid may help reduce your child’s fever. Read the instructions on the bottle very carefully. You may need to give another dose four to six hours later.
Remember, never give medicines that contain aspirin to children under 16.
Seek medical help
If you are worried about your child, trust your instincts. Speak to your doctor or call the free NHS helpline 111.
Call the doctor immediately if, at any time, your child
- has a temperature of 39°C or above
- has a fit
If the surgery is closed and you can’t contact your doctor, trust your instincts and go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital.
Links to further information
- Government leaflet on immunisation
- Government website - pre-school vaccinations: guide to vaccinations from 2 to 5 years
- Government website - childhood immunisation: quick guide for parents of premature babies
- Government website - what to expect after vaccinations