Routine Childhood Immunisations
Please seek advice from your Midwife or Health Visitor regarding immunisations.
Here is a link to a website where you can make a personalised vaccination planner for your child:
BCG immunisation protects against tuberculosis (TB). Various groups of people at increased risk of getting TB are now offered the BCG vaccine . It is no longer routinely given to all schoolchildren.
DTP / Polio / Hib Immunisation
A dose of DTP/Polio/Hib vaccine is offered at aged two, three and four months(the primary course). A booster of Hib is offered around 12 months. Aged 3-5 years a 'pre-school booster' of DTP/Polio (Wwithout Hib) is offered. 10 years after that a 'school leaver booster' of just DT/Polio (without Hib or pertussis) is offered.
Meningococcal Group C Immunisation
This vaccine protects against the bacterium (germ) called group C Neisseria meningitidis, also known as group C meningococcus. Infection with this bacterium can cause meningitis and septicaemia (serious blood infection). All people under the age of 25 should be immunised and it is now a routine part of the childhood immunisation programme.
Pneumococcus can cause diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis and blood infections. Children under two are offered the vaccine. You should consider having the vaccine if you are over 65 years or have certain diseases of the lung, heart, kidney, liver and nervous system.
A dose of MMR vaccine is usually given to children aged 12-15 months. A second dose is usually given as a 'pre-school booster'. The MMR vaccine is very safe and is not linked with autism or bowel diseases.
Rubella (German measles) is usually a mild illness. However, it can cause serious damage to the unborn child of a pregnant woman. Rubella immunisation is routinely given to children (as part of the MMR vaccine). Woman should have a blood test to check if they are immune to rubella before their first pregnancy.
Immunisation against seasonal flu (the 'flu jab') is given every year to people at risk of developing serious complications from seasonal flu (influenza). If you have the 'flu jab' you greatly reduce your chance of getting seasonal flu. You should consider being immunised against seasonal flu if you are aged 65 or over or have certain diseases of the lung, heart, kidney, liver and nervous system. Immunisation against swine flu also began in the autumn of 2009.
All children and adults should be immunised against tetanus. See our practice nurse if you think that you are not fully immunised.
See the table on this weblink for the Tetanus Immunisation Timetable for both children and adults: http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Tetanus-Immunisation.htm
Hepatitis B Immunisation
People at increased risk of contracting hepatitis B should be immunised. The hepatitis B vaccine is also very effective at preventing infection with hepatitis B if you have been at risk from a possible source of infection (for example a needlestick injury) and you are not immunised. Some people need blood tests to check if they are immune. See our practice nurse if you think you need this vaccine.
Who needs hepatitis B immunisation?
Anyone who is at increased risk of being infected with the hepatitis B virus should consider being immunised. These include:
- Workers who are likely to come into contact with blood products, or are at increased risk of needlestick injuries, assault, etc. For example: nurses, doctors, dentists, medical laboratory workers, prison wardens, etc. Also, staff at day care or residential centres for people with learning disabilities where there is a risk of scratching or biting by residents.
- People who inject street drugs, their sexual partners and children.
- People who change sexual partners frequently (in particular homosexual men and sex workers).
- People who live in close contact with someone infected with hepatitis B. (You cannot catch hepatitis B from touching people or normal social contact. However, close regular contacts are best immunised.)
- People who regularly receive blood transfusions (for example people with haemophilia).
- People with certain kidney or liver diseases.
- People who live in residential accommodation for those with learning difficulties. People who attend day centres for people with learning difficulties may also be offered immunisation.
- Families adopting children from countries with a high or intermediate prevalence of hepatitis B when the hepatitis B status of the child is unknown. (It is, however, advisable for the child to be tested for hepatitis B.)
- Foster carers or if you live with foster children.
- Prison inmates. Immunisation against hepatitis B is now recommended for all prisoners in the UK.
- Travellers to countries where hepatitis B is common who place themselves at risk when abroad. The risk behaviour includes sexual activity, injecting drug use, undertaking relief work and/or participating in contact sports. Also, if you may need a medical or dental procedure in these countries and the procedure may not be done with sterile equipment.
Yellow Fever Immunisation
Yellow fever is a serious disease. You should be immunised against yellow fever before you travel to certain countries. You may need an International Certificate of Vaccination to prove you have been immunised.
Our practice is a "Yellow Fever Centre" and is able to issue certificates to travel. Please see the section on the website regarding Travel Clinic.
Since September 2008 there has been a national programme to vaccinate girls aged 12-13 against human papilloma virus (HPV). There is also a three-year catch up campaign that will offer the HPV vaccine (also known as the cervical cancer jab) to 13-18 year old girls.
The programme is delivered largely through secondary schools, and consists of three injections that are given over a six-month period. In the UK, more than 1.4 million doses have been given since the vaccination programme started.
What is Human papilloma virus (HPV)?
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name of a family of viruses that affect the skin and the moist membranes that line your body, such as those in your cervix, anus, mouth and throat. These membranes are called the mucosa.
There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses, with about 40 types affecting the genital area. These are classed as high risk and low risk.
How you get HPV?
Types of HPV that affect the skin can be passed on by skin contact with an affected person. The types of HPV that affect the mouth and throat can be passed on through kissing. Genital HPV is usually spread through intimate, skin to skin, contact during sex. You can have the genital HPV virus for years and not have any sign of it.
How HPV can cause cervical cancer?
Most HPV infections are harmless or cause genital warts, however some types can cause cervical cancer. Most HPV infections clear up by themselves, but in some people the infection can last a long time. HPV infects the cells of the surface of the cervix where it can stay for many years without you knowing.
The HPV virus can damage these cells leading to changes in their appearance. Over time, these changes can develop into cervical cancer. The purpose of cervical screening (testing) is to detect these changes, which, if picked up early enough, can be treated to prevent cancer happening. If they are left untreated, cancer can develop and may lead to serious illness and death.