Baby immunisation schedule for their first year

In the first days, weeks and months following your baby’s birth, your doctor, midwife and health visitor will provide you with all the information you need about your baby immunisation schedule. 

Baby immunisation protects against serious infection and disease. To offer the best protection, the NHS has carefully worked out a  baby immunisation schedule, which should be followed even if your baby is premature. That’s because babies who arrive earlier than expected tend to have lower immunity than those born at full-term1.

Below you’ll find lots of information about the baby immunisation schedule, which vaccinations your baby will need, and the best ways to soothe them once they’ve had their jabs.  

baby at doctor

quick explanation

Discover your baby’s vaccination schedule for their first year, and any travel vaccinations they may need for your holidays.




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Your baby’s first injection

Soon after you’ve given birth, you’ll be offered a vitamin K injection for your baby2. This is not a baby immunisation, but a single high dose of the vitamin to aid with blood-clotting. If you’d prefer, you can choose to give your baby vitamin K orally, in which case your baby will receive three doses over a period of days and weeks. 

It’s your decision as the whether you wish your baby to receive the vitamin K injection. However, it is strongly advised by the NHS2

Baby immunisations during the first year

During your baby’s first year, they’ll be offered several vaccinations as part of their baby immunisation schedule. Each one will be given by either your GP or a nurse at your surgery. They’ll be recorded in your baby’s personal child health record, which you’ll come to know more commonly as the ‘red book’. 

Look below at the baby immunisation schedule up to 12 months3.  

Baby immunisations at 8 weeks 

At 8 weeks, your baby will be given their first dose of the 6-in-1 vaccine. They’ll be given further doses at 6 and 12 weeks. The 6-in-1 vaccine protects your baby against:

  • Diphtheria. A very contagious infection affecting the nose, throat and skin, diphtheria is very serious, especially for children, and can be fatal4.
  • Tetanus. Caused when bacteria enter a wound, tetanus is a life-threatening illness that can cause breathing problems, painful muscles, and fits. Once treated, it can take some time to recover, and the best form of protection is to be fully vaccinated5.
  • Whooping cough (also known as pertussis). Whooping cough is a bacterial infection that affects the breathing tubes and the lungs. It’s very contagious and can lead to dehydration, pneumonia and seizures6.
  • Polio (IPV vaccine). There’s no cure for polio, and it can result in serious complications, such as paralysis7. The polio vaccine is also known as the IPV and is usually given as part of the 6 in 1 vaccine.
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Babies and children are the most at risk from this bacterium. Complications include sepsis, meningitis, hearing loss and learning difficulties8.
  • Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a liver infection. It can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy, meaning that they may require additional vaccinations after birth to limit the chance of infection9.

Other baby immunisations given at eight weeks are:

  • Meningococcal group B disease (MenB) (The PVC vaccine). This is a group of bacteria that can cause the very serious, and sometimes fatal, infections meningitis and sepsis10. This vaccine is also known as the PVC and is usually given as part of the 6 in 1 vaccine. This baby immunisation is also given at 16 weeks and one year10.
  • Rotavirus. A very infectious stomach bug, rotavirus is most common among babies and young children. The vaccine is given as liquid in the mouth, and your baby will be given a second dose at 12 weeks11.


Baby immunisations at 12 weeks

At 12 weeks, your baby will receive their second dose of both the 6-in-1 vaccine and their second and final dose of the rotavirus vaccine.

At this point in their vaccination schedule, your baby will also be given the pneumococcal vaccine, which will protect your baby from diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia, and sepsis 12.   

Baby immunisations at 16 weeks 

Your baby’s 16-week jabs include their third and final dose of the 6-in-1 vaccine. They’ll also receive the second dose of the Meningococcal group B disease (MenB) vaccine

Baby immunisations at 12 months

At 12 months, your baby will be given the second dose of their pneumococcal vaccine (PCV), and the third and final dose of the Meningococcal group B disease (MenB) vaccine.

Other vaccinations at this point in the baby immunisation schedule are:

  • Hib/meningococcal group C (MenC). Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningitis C are very serious, and in some cases fatal. This vaccine is given in one single injection, and acts as a booster to your baby’s protection against Hib. It also provides protection against meningitis C13.
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) (MMR). The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella, highly infectious diseases that can lead to hearing loss and meningitis. Your child will be given two doses as part of their vaccination schedule, the second being at three years and four months14.  

Other baby immunisations

There are some circumstances in which your baby may require the BCG vaccine, given to protect your child against tuberculosis (TB). This is very serious illness that can affect the brain, kidneys, bones and joints. It’s given to babies of up to 12 months of age - usually at around 28 days after birth15.

The BCG vaccine will be offered when your baby is thought to be at an increased risk of TB. For example, if they15:

  • Live with or are close to someone who has TB

  • Have a parent or grandparent who was born in a country where the rate of TB is high

  • Are born in an area of the UK with high TB rates

Does my baby need a flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine isn’t suitable for babies under six months of age16. However, if your baby has a long-term health condition, and they’re aged between six months and two years, they’ll be offered the flu vaccine by injection16.  

What about COVID-19? Does my baby need a covid vaccination?

Most babies and children who get COVID-19 will be symptom free. In some cases, they may present with a mild cold but only a few become so unwell that they require treatment17.

Your child can get a COVID-19 vaccine if they’re aged between six months and four years and are at a higher risk of becoming very unwell. For example, if they have a weakened immune system, have profound learning disabilities, or have another condition that affects their health in the long-term17.

Travel immunisations for babies  

If you’re planning to travel with your baby during their first year, it’s important to ensure that their vaccinations are up to date in accordance with the baby immunisation schedule. You should also check with your healthcare professional to see if your baby requires any additional vaccinations18.  

Baby care after their immunisations

Vaccinations can be a little overwhelming for babies. It’s not uncommon for them to cry for a little while after their appointment, but rest assured that they’ll feel much better after a cuddle. Some babies may experience minor temporary side effects, including19:

  • A raised temperature or fever

  • Irritability

  • Tenderness or redness at the injection site

It's recommended that you give your baby infant paracetamol after the MenB vaccine to reduce the risk of a high temperature19. This vaccine is given at 8 weeks, 16 weeks and 1 year old.

If you're worried about your baby’s reaction to a vaccination, speak to your healthcare professional.

How can I prepare for my baby’s immunisation appointment?

For many parents, taking their baby for their immunisations can feel a little overwhelming, and it’s only natural to wonder about how they’re going to react. To make things run as smoothly as possible, there are a few things that you can do to prepare19:

  • Don’t forget to take your ‘red book’, which is your personal child health record (PCHR).

  • Dress your baby in loose, conformable clothing that’s easy to remove and that won’t irritate the spot where they have their injections.

  • If your child is old enough to talk and ask questions, try preparing them ahead of time using simple language. For example, ‘you might feel a sharp scratch, but it will go away very fast’.

  • Hold your child on your knee very close to you during the appointment – the healthcare professional administering the immunisations will guide you here.

  • If you’re nervous about it, or you don’t like to see the injection being given, ask a nurse or other staff member to hold your child for you.

  • Leave yourself plenty of time to get to your appointment, as you may feel much calmer if you’re not rushing.

  • Always ask any questions that you might have and allow your child to do the same. Remember that healthcare professionals are there to support you.

Your baby's future health begins here

At Aptaclub, we believe that experience helps to build resilience; and that each new encounter, whether in pregnancy or after birth, can shape your baby’s future development. With our scientific expertise and one-to-one round the clock support, we can help you and your baby embrace tomorrow.

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  1. NHS. Booking your child's vaccination appointment [online] 2023. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  2. NHS Guys and St Thomas. Overview - Vitamin K and your new baby [online] 2023. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  3. NHS. NHS Vaccinations and when to have them [online] 2023. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  4. NHS. Diphtheria [online] 2022. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  5. NHS. Tetanus [online] 2023. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  6. NHS. Whooping cough [online] 2023. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  7. NHS. Polio [online] 2022. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  8. NHS. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) [online] 2023. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  9. NHS. Hepatitis B [online] 2022. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  10. NHS. MenB vaccine overview [online] 2021. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  11. NHS. Rotavirus vaccine overview [online] 2020. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  12. NHS. Pneumococcal vaccine [online] 2023. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  13. NHS. Hib/MenC vaccine overview [online] 2019. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  14. NHS. MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine [online] 2020. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  15. NHS. BCG vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) overview [online] 2019. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  16. GOV.UK. Flu vaccines for children and young people [online] 2023. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  17. GOV.UK. COVID-19: a guide for parents of children 6 months to 11 years of age at high risk [online] 2023. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  18. NHS. A guide to immunisation for babies up to 13 months of age - from February 2022 [online] 2023. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

  19. NHS. Vaccination tips for parents [online] 2023. Available at [Accessed November 2023]

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