Paediatric Immunisation Schedule

Immunisations (vaccinations/injections/jabs) are given to all children within the UK to prevent them catching, developing or passing on several serious diseases e.g. meningitis, measles and whooping cough, to name a few.

Prior to the introduction of the immunisation schedule many lives were lost during childhood to preventable diseases.  It has been one of the most life saving medical breakthroughs to date.  Despite this many parents choose not to vaccinate their children.

This station aims to take you through the UK schedule including the conditions it helps protect against.

Stations about childhood immunisation schedules test two aspects: your ability to communicate with parents, and your knowledge of the schedule and any questions the parents may have about the immunisations.

For the most up-to-date UK immunisation schedule visit this site. Note that immunisation schedules will differ for different countries.

Subject steps

  1. Begin by introducing yourself to the parent(s) and/or the child if they are present. Clarify the name of the patient as well as their age. Make sure that they are all comfortable and also that the room is set up suitably for the consultation.

  2. You should inform them that you have been asked to speak to them about immunisations and explain that you will take them through the schedule step by step. Ideally you should answer any questions they may have after you have been through the list of immunisations.

  3. The current timetable for immunisations in the UK is shown in the table below:

    2 months

    Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio & Haemophilus Influenzae B (HIB) – all as one injection (1st dose).
    Pneumococcal vaccine as a separate injection (1st dose).
    Rotavirus vaccine given as oral drops (1st dose). Note this was introduced in July 2013 for babies born after 1st May 2013.
    Meningococcal type B (MenB) vaccine. This is a new vaccine introduced on 1st September 2015 for all babies born on or after 1st July 2015.

    3 months

    Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio & Haemophilus Influenzae B (HIB) – all as one injection (2nd dose).
    Meningitis C – as a separate injection.
    Rotavirus vaccine given as oral drops (2nd dose).

    4 months

    Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio & Haemophilus Influenzae B (HIB) – all as one injection (3rd dose).
    Pneumococcal vaccine as separate injection (2nd dose).
    Meningococcal type B (MenB) vaccine (2nd dose).

    Between 12 to 13 months (within 1 month of child’s 1st birthday)

    Haemophilus Influenzae B (HIB) and a Meningitis C booster as one injection (4th dose of HIB, 2nd dose of Men C).
    Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) as one injection (1st dose) and a pneumococcal booster injection (3rd dose).
    Meningococcal type B (MenB) vaccine (3rd dose).

    2, 3 and 4 year olds

    Seasonal Influenza – as nasal spray, or injection due to contraindications or reasons of faith.

    Between 2 years to 11 years

    Seasonal Influenza – annually.

    Between 3 years 4 months, to 5 years

    Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis & Polio – all as one injection (pre-school booster).
    MMR – as one injection (2nd dose).

    Between 12 to 13 years (females only)

    Human Papillomavirus  (types 16 & 18). Given as 2 injections, the second 6-24 months after the first. Note that this was reduced to a 2 dose schedule from 3 dose schedule in September 2014.

    Between 13 to 18 years

    Diphtheria, Tetanus & Polio – all as one injection (booster dose). This is the 5th dose which is sufficient to provide long term protection.
    Meningitis C – as a separate injection (booster dose).
    Meningococcal types ACWY.

  4. There are non-routine vaccinations which may be given at birth. If the baby is felt to be more at risk to exposure to tuberculosis than the general population they may be given the BCG vaccination. If the child’s mother is Hepatitis B positive then the Hepatitis B vaccination is given.

  5. It is paramount that you know this schedule. However, you are likely to be asked questions about the various immunisations. Therefore, you should be certain to know about them all, including whether they are live or not, any likely side effects, and any contra-indications.

  6. At the end of the consultation ensure that the parent understands everything you have told them and that they have no remaining questions.

  7. Please note that the above immunisation schedule is only relevant in the UK.

    For the most up-to-date UK immunisation schedule visit: http://www.patient.co.uk/health/immunisation-usual-uk-schedule. Note that immunisation schedules will differ for different countries. So you must check your local policies.

Vaccination hot topic (UK-only)

The influenza vaccine was piloted in September 2013 and rolled out UK wide in September 2014. There is some geographical variation in who is offered the vaccine, however all 2, 3 and 4 year olds are offered it. In time, all children of school age will be offered the vaccine.