Vaccinations, Immunisations and Inoculations
Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. They work by training your immune system to develop antibodies that protect you from disease.
All vaccines are extensively researched and tested before they are approved for use. Their effectiveness and side effects are also regularly monitored. Existing vaccines are also amended or improved to combat new or dominant strains of certain conditions.
Every year, more than 3 million lives are saved by vaccinations.
Despite this, misinformation anti-vaccine stories often circulate online, primarily through social media. These stories are often without any scientific backing.
Avoiding or delaying vaccines is detrimental to your health, especially in childhood. The World Health Organisation lists vaccine hesitancy as one of the biggest threats to world health.
NHS vaccination schedule
Babies under 1 year old
|8 weeks||6-in-1 vaccine
|12 weeks||6-in-1 vaccine (2nd dose)
Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine
Rotavirus vaccine (2nd dose)
|16 weeks||6-in-1 vaccine (3rd dose)
MenB (2nd dose)
Children aged 1 to 15
|1 year||Hib/MenC (1st dose)
MMR (1st dose)
Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine (2nd dose)
MenB (3rd dose)
|2 to 10 years||Flu vaccine (every year)|
|3 years and 4 months||MMR (2nd dose)
4-in-1 pre-school booster
|12 to 13 years||HPV vaccine|
|14 years||3-in-1 teenage booster
|65 years||Pneumococcal (PPV) vaccine|
|65 years (and every year after)||Flu vaccine|
|70 years||Shingles vaccine|
|During flu season||Flu vaccine|
|From 16 weeks pregnant||Whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine|
From late 2020, new vaccines have been approved for use in the UK to protect people against coronavirus, or Covid-19.
Currently, there are four approved vaccines. The two-dose Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccines are all in use, with the one-shot Janssen vaccine not yet available.
All adults aged 18 or over can get vaccinated against covid-19. You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS.
Vaccination appointments can be booked online through the national vaccination booking system or by calling 119.
You will be given the type of vaccine most suited to your age and health.