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Immunisation NHS


Immunisations are a way of protecting ourselves from serious diseases. Once immunised, our bodies are more able to fight diseases if we come into contact with them.

Immunisation protects your child, your family and the whole community.
How does it work?
A vaccine contains a small part of the bacteria or virus that causes a disease, or tiny amounts of the chemicals that bacteria produce. The vaccine is specially treated so it does not cause the disease itself. Vaccines work by encouraging the body’s immune system to make antibodies - so if your child then comes into contact with the disease, the antibodies will recognise it and protect your child.

What do we vaccinate against?
The current UK immunisation programme offers vaccinations against:

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Whooping Cough
  • Meningitis-C
  • HIB
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)

If children and young people are not vaccinated, they will not be protected against these diseases.

My child is still a baby - will they be OK?
Your baby may cry for a few seconds and then settle. If the baby doesn't settle or if they develop a temperature, you can give them a one-off dose of baby paracetamol (2.5ml), and again four hours later. If problems continue, contact your GP. Some babies get a red, lumpy area around the injection site – this can be red for a few weeks but does not hurt them.
When shouldn't we immunise?
There are few reasons not to immunise, but speak to your GP, health visitor or practice nurse if the baby has:

  • a high fever
  • had a bad reaction in the past
  • a severe allergy to eggs
  • clothing problems


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