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What routine vaccines are available on the NHS

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There is always a substantial amount of press coverage surrounding vaccinations for babies and toddlers. However, you might not be aware of exactly what vaccines are available for free through the NHS and when it’s best to have these administered. It’s important to check if you’re unsure what has already been received either by yourself or your children.

Babies and young children

Newborn babies receive a number of different vaccines when they are two, three and four months old. A 5 in 1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine is given in three doses and protects children against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and Hib B.

The Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine is administered through two jabs at two and four months of age. This provides protection against a number of pneumococcal infections, which can lead to more serious conditions such as pneumonia, septicaemia and meningitis.

The Rotavirus vaccine is given to babies orally at both two and three months old. This gives them protection from the highly infectious condition that causes diarrhoea and vomiting.
Babies also receive a Meningitis C vaccine in one dose at three months of age.

When children are 12 to 13 months old they will be invited for their next round of vaccines. These are a booster jab for Hib B and Meningitis C, their first dose of the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) and their third Pneumococcal vaccine.

Children between the ages of two and three are now entitled to an annual flu vaccine. This is administered through a nasal spray and is also available for children up to the age of 10 in some areas of the country.

Before children start school they will receive another set of vaccinations. These will take place at some point after they reach three years and four months. They will be given the second dose of the MMR vaccine as well as the 4 in 1 (DTaP/IPV) pre-school booster, which contains additional protection from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio.

Teenagers

Children don’t routinely receive any further vaccinations until they start secondary school. However, those in at risk groups may be entitled to additional vaccines.

When girls are aged between 12 and 13 they will be offered the HPV vaccine, which protects them from cervical cancer. Over the course of six months they will be given three doses of the vaccine.

A 3 in 1 (Td/IPV) teenage booster is available to all children between the ages of 13 and 18. This boosts their protection from diphtheria, tetanus and polio. They will also be offered the Meningitis C booster when they are aged between 13 and 15.

Over 65s

vaccines avilable on the nhsThe next time that people are offered routine vaccinations is when they reach the age of 65. They can then receive an annual flu vaccine, as well as a one off dose of the Pneumococcal vaccine. Those over the age of 70 are now offered the Shingles vaccine, which is administered in one dose. This limits your chance of getting the disease, which is caused when the chickenpox virus reactivates.

These are the vaccines that are available to the general public. However, certain groups and those with long-term health problems may be offered other vaccines throughout their life. There are also some vaccines that you may require if travelling abroad; these may be available for free or require private treatment.

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About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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