What injections does your baby or child need? When do they need to get vaccinations?

injection childrenMMR vaccine

This vaccine protects your child against three separate illnesses: measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

It is injection into the muscle of the thigh or upper arm of your child.

When: The full course of the MMR jab requires two doses.

The first is usually administered just after your child’s first birthday, and the second just before they start school at the age of three and four months.

Sometimes it will be given to babies from six months of age if they have been exposed to the measles virus, or during a measles outbreak.

6-in-1 vaccine

This jab protects against six serious childhood diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) and hepatitis B.

It is one of the first vaccines your baby will have and is injected into your baby’s thigh.

When: Your baby needs three doses of the 6-in-1 vaccine to make sure they have a strong immunity to the six illnesses.

These are given to your baby at eight, 12 and 16 weeks of age.

Pneumococcal or pneumo vaccine (PCV)

This jab protects against some types of pneumococcal infection, which are caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and can lead to pneumonia, septicaemia and meningitis.

When: Babies receive three separate injections for the vaccination.

The Pneumococcal or pneumo jab (PCV) is given at eight weeks, 16 weeks and one year old.

Credit: Getty – Contributor

Rotavirus vaccine

It is important your baby has this to protect against rotavirus infection, a common cause of diarrhoea and sickness.

The vaccine is given as a liquid straight into the baby’s mouth for them to swallow.

When: The Rotavirus vaccine is given as two doses for babies aged 8 and 12 weeks.

Men B vaccine

This vaccination protects against infection caused by meningococcal type B bacteria, which can lead to meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning).

The vaccine is given as a single injection into the baby’s thigh.

When: The Men B vaccine is administered at eight weeks, 16 weeks and one year of age.

Hib/Men C vaccine

You should give your baby this vaccine to prevent against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningitis C infections, which can be serious or potentially fatal.

When: The Hib/Men C vaccine jab is a single injection given to one-year-old babies to boost their protection.

Credit: Athena Picture Agency

Children’s flu vaccine

This vaccine protects against flu which can have potentially serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia.

When: The children’s flu vaccine is offered yearly to young children.

4-in-1 pre-school booster

As the name suggests, there are four illnesses that the 4-in-1 pre-school booster protects against: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio.

Children are vaccinated against these illnesses as babies through the 6-in-1 vaccine.

The 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine increases their immunity.

The vaccine is injected into the child’s upper arm.

When: This single vaccination is given just before a child starts school, at the age of three years and four months of age.

Credit: Getty – Contributor

HPV vaccine (girls only)

All girls aged 12 to 13 should be given the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination. The vaccine is designed to protect girls against cervical cancer.

When: The HPV vaccine is currently given as a series of two injections when a girl is aged 12 or 13.

The vaccines are usually given at least six months apart.

3-in-1 teenage booster

This vaccine is used to boost your child’s protection against three separate diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and polio.

It is given as a single injection into the upper arm to boost your child’s protection.

When: The 3-in-1 teenage booster is for all young people aged 14.

Men ACWY vaccine

Teenagers and “fresher” students going to university are advised to have a vaccination to prevent meningitis and septicaemia.

The Men ACWY vaccine is given by a single injection into the upper arm.

It protects against four different strains of the meningococcal bacteria that cause meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia): A, C, W and Y.

When: It is given to teens aged 14 years and new university students aged 19-25.