Your baby will be protected from eight childhood diseases during their first year.
Find out exactly what to expect and when, with our guide to the vaccination schedule.
At a glance
- Some immunisations require multiple doses
- They aren't all injections, some are drops in the mouth
It's less confusing than you might think
When they’re in the womb, babies have a little bit of immunity to illnesses, but this gradually wears off when they arrive in the world. So it’s vital to follow their immunisation schedule, as listed in the Red Book. Yes, it can look a bit overwhelming but most mums find the experience less scary than they’d imagined. And, of course, it helps to remember that you’re doing your bit to protect your little one from some pretty nasty illnesses.
Here’s what they get and when:
At two months
- First dose of the 5-in-1 injection which protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio and Hib (haemophilus influenza type B)
- First dose of the Pneumococcal injection, which protects against the main types of bacteria that can cause septicaemia and meningitis
- First dose of the Rotavirus vaccination, given as a liquid dropped straight into the baby’s mouth. It protects against rotavirus infection, a common cause of diarrhoea and sickness
- As of September 2015: First dose of Meningitis B injection which protects against the B strain of meningitis
- All these vaccinations are usually given in the same visit; get advice from your GP practice if your child isn’t well that day
At three months
- Second dose of the 5-in-1 injection
- Second dose of the rotavirus vaccine
- First dose of the Meningitis C injection, which protects against the C strain of meningitis (but not the B strain, so it’s still important to be aware of meningitis symptoms)
At four months
- Third (and last) dose of the 5-in1 injection
- Second dose of the Pneumococcal injection
- Second dose of the Meningitis B injection
Phew, you’re all done now until just after their first birthday when it will be time to fish out the Red Book out again ready for the next bit of their immunisation schedule.