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Immunisation

The purpose of immunisation is to prepare our body to fight against diseases in case we come into contact with them. To do this immunisation gives the body a modified, but not dangerous, form of a bacteria, virus or toxin to ‘alert’ the immune system to it. Therefore if the infection is encountered later in life, the body is already prepared to act against it. For example, when your child is immunised against polio the immune system is stimulated into producing antibodies against the disease. Therefore, if your child comes into contact with polio their body will have produced the antibodies to fight it.

There are several immunisations that your child should have and below is the schedule for routine childhood immunisations in the United Kingdom. It is in accordance with the recommendations given in Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (1996) HMSO, also known as ‘The Green Book’.

When is the immunisation due? Which immunisation?

At two months

  • Polio - by mouth
  • Hib:- Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough - one injection
  • Pneumococcal vaccine - one injection

At three months

  • Polio - by mouth
  • Hib:- Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough - one injection
  • Meningitus C - one injection

At four months

  • Polio - by mouth
  • Hib:- Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough - one injection
  • Meningitus C & Pneumococcal vaccine - one injection

At 12 months

  • Hib:- Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough - one injection
  • Meningitus C & Pneumococcal vaccine - one injection

3 to 5 years

Usually before the child starts school.

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella - one injection
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus - one injection
  • Polio - by mouth

10 to 14 years

Sometimes shortly after birth.

  • BCG (tuberculosis) - Skin test followed by one injection

School leavers 13 to 18 years

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus - one injection
  • Polio - by mouth

This information was originally sourced from Health Promotion, England who have now come under the domain of the department of health, a pdf version of this table can be viewed here.