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      Baby vaccination schedule for their first year

      Baby Health Checks

      Baby vaccination schedule for their first year

      Read time: 5 minutes

      Getting your baby immunised is important as it helps protect them against serious infection and disease. Some vaccines provide immunity that lasts a lifetime, but sometimes to get full protection, the immunity has to be built up gradually through regular repeated doses. The immunisation schedule is designed to give your baby maximum protection1. It should be followed even if your baby is premature, as premature babies have lower immunity than full-term babies2.

      Your baby’s first injection

      Soon after your baby is born, you’ll be offered a vitamin K injection for them3. This is not actually a vaccine but a high dose of the vitamin, to aid blood-clotting. You can choose to give your baby vitamin K orally, via drops, over a period of days and weeks instead of through injection – or may decide not to give them the supplement at all.

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      Baby immunisations during the first year

      Your baby will be offered the following vaccinations4:

      At 8 weeks

      • Their first dose of the 6-in-1 vaccine, which protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and hepatitis B.
      • Meningococcal group B disease (MenB).
      • Rotavirus.

      At 12 weeks

      • Their second dose of the 6-in-1 vaccine.
      • Pneumococcal disease.
      • Rotavirus.

      At 16 weeks

      • Their third dose of the 6-in-1 vaccine.
      • Meningococcal group B disease (MenB).

      At 12 months

      • Hib/meningococcal group C (MenC).
      • Pneumococcal disease booster.
      • Measles, mumps and rubella (German measles).
      • Meningococcal group B disease (MenB).

      Travel vaccinations for babies

      If you are planning to travel in their first year, check with your healthcare professional if your baby needs additional immunisation4. Some vaccines, like hepatitis A, typhoid and cholera, should be free through the NHS5.

      Baby care after their vaccination

      Vaccinations can be a little overwhelming for babies and they may cry for a little while after the appointment, but they’ll feel much better after a cuddle6.

      Some babies may experience minor temporary side effects, including: 

      • A raised temperature or fever.
      • Irritability.
      • Tenderness or redness at the injection site.

      If your baby gets a fever, you can give them infant paracetamol, but make sure you follow the instructions carefully.

      1. Nhs.net. Start 4 life. Your baby's vaccination and immunisation schedule [Online]. 2020. Available at : https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/vaccinations-and-immunisations-baby/ [Accessed November 2020]
      2. Sisson H. Vaccinating preterm infants: why the delay? Infant 2014; 10(3): 84-86.
      3. NHS. What happens straight after the birth? [Online]. 2019. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/what-happens-straight-after-the-birth/ [Accessed November 2020]
      4. NHS. A guide to immunisation for babies born on or after the 1 January 2020 [Online]. 2020. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-guide-to-immunisations-for-babies-up-to-13-months-of-age [Accessed November 2020]
      5. NHS. Overview, Travel vaccines [Online]. 2018. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/ [Accessed December 2020]
      6. NHS. Vaccination tips for parents [Online]. 2019. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/vaccination-appointment-tips-for-parents/ [Accessed November 2020]

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