Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases.
Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill health. They prevent up to 3 million deaths worldwide every year.
Since vaccines were introduced in the UK, diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus that used to kill or disable millions of people are either gone or seen very rarely.
Other diseases like measles and diphtheria have been reduced by up to 99.9% since their vaccines were introduced.
It's important that you have your children vaccinated because it's possible for infectious diseases to quickly spread again.
Vaccines given to babies under 1 year old
- 6-in-1 vaccine (diphtheria, hepatitis B, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), polio, tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis).
- Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine
- MenB (meningococcal group B bacteria) vaccine
- Rotavirus vaccine
Vaccines given to children aged 1 to 15
- Hib/MenC (Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningitis C) vaccine
- MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine
- Children's flu vaccine
- 4-in-1 (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio) preschool booster
- HPV vaccine
- 3-in-1 (diphtheria, tetanus and polio) teenage booster
- MenACWY (4 strains of the meningococcal bacteria – A, C, W and Y) vaccine
Protect your child from measles, mumps, and rubella
Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) are highly infectious diseases which make children very poorly.
Although outbreaks are rare, the diseases have not been irradicated. Children who catch them can suffer serious health complications such as hearing loss, meningitis, long term disabilities or even death.
Despite this, over 10% of eligible under 5s in England are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated against MMR.
All children are eligible for free vaccinations as part of the NHS Vaccination Schedule, with the first MMR vaccine being offered at 1 year and a second dose at 3 years and 4 months.
Vaccines protect children. Since the introduction of the measles vaccine in 1968, 20 million measles cases and 4,500 deaths have been prevented in the UK.
The MMR vaccine is the safest and most effective way to protect your child against these dangerous diseases. It is also a very effective way to stop the spread of MMR to children under the age of 1 and immunocompromised individuals who are not able to have the vaccine but are likely to experience complications.
If your child was due to have either of the two doses of MMR but has not yet received them, no matter what age they are, contact your GP practice to get them vaccinated as soon as possible.
Find out more at nhs.uk/MMR
Visit the NHS website for more information about childhood vaccinations.