Your baby’s first jabs are a key milestone for both of you. We guide you through what each immunisation is for, when your tot has them and why they matter
A baby's first year is marked by her jabs. From that first heel prick test, she'll face a few needles as she grows. It’s a big hurdle for you as a mum but each vaccination is important for her growing immune system.
It's important for mums to know the age at which your baby should ideally have each vaccine and and what each one is for.
Childhood immunisations aim to protect your baby from potentially serious illnesses.When you get an infection, your body produces proteins called antibodies to fight it. After an infection your body is usually immune from that infection and this protection can last for life (e.g. once you get chicken pox, you normally can’t get it again). A vaccination is a watered-down version of the virus or bacteria that causes an infection so you don’t actually catch the illness, but your body can begin to build defences against it.“People often think a child doesn’t need immunisations because a disease isn’t prevalent. But it’s not prevalent because we’re vaccinated against it, so few people contract the illness,” says Dr Miriam Stoppard OBE.
It is best for your baby to have her immunisations at the correct time, as the earlier she is protected, the better. But there is no need to panic if you delay a jab for a week or you need to have it a few days earlier. What's important is the order in which she has the vaccines and making sure she has them all.
A 5-in-1 single jab that protects against Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib, a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children)
5-in-1, second dose
5-in-1, third dose
Pneumococcal infection, second dose
Meningitis C, second dose
Meningitis C, third dose Hib, fourth dose given as a single jab
Measles, mumps and rubella, given as a single jab
Pneumococcal infection, third dose
Find out how to cope with your baby's jabs
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