Immunising premature babies

Information and help about vaccinations for prem babies


Worried and confused about when your prem baby should have their vaccinations? We’ve got answers to the most commonly asked questions:


Q What is immunisation and why does my baby need it?

A Immunisation protects your baby from a number of serious diseases like diptheria, whooping cough, polio and meningitis C, that if caught could kill or cause lasting damage to your child. Vaccinations help your child’s natural defence system fight off these diseases if they come into contact with them.

Q When should my baby be immunised?

A It’s vital that your baby and/or toddler is immunised at the right age to help keep the risk of catching a serious disease low. The programme for baby immunisations begins at two months, followed by top ups at three, four and twelve months. Toddlers should receive their first immunisations at 13 months, and then three years. For more information on the routine childhood immunisation programme visit

Q When should a premature baby have their first injection?

A Prem babies could be at increased risk of infection because of their low birth weight and immature immune system. Premature babies should be immunised in line with the recommended schedule from two months after birth, no matter how premature they were.


Q What happens if my baby is still in hospital at two months?

If your baby was born very prematurely, before 26 weeks’ gestation, then he or she will receive her first routine immunisation in hospital.

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