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Childhood Vaccinations

Childhood imms protects against 17 vaccine preventable diseases.

World Immunisation Week 2019

The World Health Organisation is launching World Immunisation Week (24 - 30 April) to promote the crucial role of vaccines in preventing serious diseases and protecting life.

The first 1000 days of life, from conception to age two, are now recognised as a critical period in which the future health and social outcomes for a child may be affected. A child’s health and development may be influenced during this time by parental choices regarding health; including whether or not a child is vaccinated.

In support of this campaign, Be Well are launching a local social media awareness campaign, #VaccinesWork, to promote the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations and to encourage parents and carers to check their personal health record (red book), make sure their child is up to date with their vaccinations and make an appointment with their GP for any missed vaccinations.


Childhood imms protects against 17 vaccine preventable diseases

Research from around the world shows that immunisation is the safest way to protect your child’s health.

Parents often have questions about why their baby or child needs to be vaccinated, especially when we don’t hear about the diseases their child is being vaccinated against.

It is because of the effective immunisation programmes in the UK, the number of children catching serious diseases is now very low. But if children do not continue to be immunised, the diseases will come back.

Diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza… these are just some of the serious infectious diseases your baby and child will be protected from through vaccination, before they start school.

Although vaccine preventable diseases such as diphtheria and measles have become uncommon in the UK, the bugs that cause them continue to circulate in some parts of the world. In today’s highly inter-connected world, these bugs can cross geographical borders and cause disease in people who are not protected. This can cause the re-emergence of these diseases. In choosing to vaccinate you are protecting your child and those around your child.

Vaccines are routinely offered to everyone in the UK free of charge on the NHS. Try to have your vaccinations delivered on time to ensure protection. If you're not going to be able to get to the GP surgery when a vaccination is due, talk to your doctor, as it may be possible to arrange to have the vaccination at a different time. If you've missed a vaccination it is possible to catch up.

Vaccines contain a small part of the bacterium or virus that causes a disease, or tiny amounts of the chemicals the bacterium produces. Vaccines work by causing the body’s immune system to make antibodies. If your child comes into contact with the infection, the antibodies will recognise it and be ready to protect him or her. Because vaccines have been used so successfully in the UK, diseases such as polio have disappeared from this country.

Before a vaccine is allowed to be used, its safety and effectiveness have to be thoroughly tested. After they have been licensed, vaccine safety continues to be monitored. Any rare side effects that are discovered can then be assessed further. All medicines can cause side effects, but vaccines are among the very safest.

Any side effects that occur are usually mild. Your child may get a little redness, swelling or tenderness at the injection site, which will disappear on its own. Some children may get a fever that can be treated with paracetamol liquid. Read the instructions on the bottle carefully and give your child the correct dose for their age. A second dose four to six hours later, may be needed. If your child’s temperature is still high after they have had a second dose of paracetamol liquid, speak to your doctor or call the free NHS helpline 111.

There are very few children who cannot be immunised. In general, a vaccine should not be given to children who have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of the same vaccine. There are a very small number of children who may not be able to have a routine vaccine for health reasons. Your health visitor, practice nurse or doctor will ask you about the relevant conditions. You can also discuss with them if you are worried about a specific vaccine.

Although vaccine preventable diseases such as diphtheria and measles have become uncommon in the UK, the bugs that cause them continue to circulate in some parts of the world. In today’s highly inter-connected world, these bugs can cross geographical borders and cause disease in people who are not protected. This can cause the re-emergence of these diseases. In choosing to vaccinate you are protecting your child and those around your child.


Why does my child require vaccination?

As soon as babies are born they are exposed to a huge number of bugs. Vaccinations (also call immunisations) protect children from dangerous childhood diseases.

Watch this video to understand more.

Please visit further vaccination help for parents to better understand what to expect and suggestions to ease your vaccination appointment.


Vaccination Schedule

Please visit NHS Vaccinations for a checklist and timeline of the childhood vaccines that are routinely offered  in the UK free of charge on the NHS and the ages at which they should ideally be given.


Further vaccination help for parents

Please find a list to the most commonly asked questions about baby and toddler vaccinations along with tips for parents.


Preschool booster and school readiness

If your child starts school in September, make sure they have had all their routine vaccinations. Check their red book or call your GP surgery. To get the best protection for your child, they need to have had their pre-school jabs, which includes two doses of MMR vaccine and the 4-in-1 pre-school booster.


Missed the appointment or delayed the immunisation?

If you think you missed an appointment or delayed the immunisation, contact your GP surgery to make a new appointment as soon as you can. You can usually pick up the immunisation schedule where it stopped without having to start again. Remember, it’s never too late to get your child vaccinated.

For more information, check your (child’s) red book or visit the NHS personalised vaccination planner.


Make your Health Visitor Checks Count!

When you have a baby, you will be assigned a health visitor to support you throughout you and your baby’s journey. Health visitors are qualified nurses who work with a range of highly trained and skilled colleagues to promote health and wellbeing, and support families with all aspects of bringing up a child. They are there to give you parenting advice and support, answer any questions or concerns that you may have and carry out developmental reviews.

You can contact your health visitor at any point but all parents will receive at least 4 key visits between the birth of your baby until they are 2 ½ year’s old. If this is the first time you are becoming a parent, you may meet your Health Visitor whilst you are pregnant. This is a perfect opportunity to talk through any worries you may have about becoming a parent.

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