Childhood immunisations

Keeping children healthy

One of the most important things that a parent can do for their child is to make sure that they have all their routine childhood vaccinations. It’s the most effective way of keeping them protected against infectious diseases.

Ideally, children should have their jabs at the right age to protect them as early as possible and minimise the risk of infection. If you have any questions or concerns about vaccinations, you can book a call with one of our practice nurses and we’ll be happy to discuss these with you.

Non-urgent advice: Note

Anti-vaccine stories are often spread online through social media and offline. Always get your vaccine and health information from trusted sources, such as the NHS or World Health Organisation (WHO).

The vaccine information on social media may not be based on scientific evidence and could put your child at risk of a serious illness. All the current evidence tells us that getting vaccinated is safer than not getting vaccinated.

What is immunisation?

Immunisation is a way of protecting against serious infectious diseases. Once we have been immunised, our bodies are better able to fight those diseases if we come into contact with them.

How vaccines work

Vaccines contain a small part of the bacterium or virus that causes a disease, or tiny amounts of the chemicals that the bacterium produces. Vaccines work by causing the body’s immune system to make antibodies (substances that fight off infection and disease). 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 diphtheria have almost disappeared from this country.

There are some diseases that can kill children or cause lasting damage to their health. Immunisations are given to prepare your child’s immune system to fight off those diseases if they come into contact with them.

When should your baby be immunised?

It is important that your baby has their immunisations at the right age – the first ones are given at 8 weeks old. They will be given further doses of these immunisations when they are 12 weeks old and 16 weeks old. Other immunisations are given at 1 year of age. Other immunisations are given later. Click here for more details on the immunisation schedule.

Useful links

Page last reviewed: 28 February 2024