Immunisation has caused dramatic improvements in health. Because of immunisation, diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles and polio which used to be major causes of ill health are now rare in many countries, including the UK.
At The Pinn, our health visitor regularley attends our surgery so that your child can recieve all of the recommended childhood vaccinations. Some of the vaccinations may also been given within the childs school.
If you are in any doubt please do not hessitate to contact us, or for a very easy to follow guide, please go to the government website www.immunisation.org.uk
|AGE||Immunisation (Vaccine Given)|
|2 months||DTP/Polio/Hib (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, and Haemophilus influenzae b) - all in one injection, plus:
Pneumococcal (PCV) - in a separate injection
|3 months||DTP/Polio/Hib (2nd dose), plus:
MenC (Meningococcus Group C) - in a separate injection
|4 months||DTP/Polio/Hib (3rd dose), plus:
MenC (2nd dose) - in a separate injection, plus:
Pneumococcal (PCV) (2nd dose) - in a separate injection
|Around 12 months||Hib/MenC (combined as one injection - 4th dose of Hib and 3rd dose of MenC)|
|Around 13 months||MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella - combined as one injection), plus:
Pneumococcal (PCV) (3rd dose) - in a separate injection
|Around 4-5 years||'Pre-school' booster of:
MMR (second dose) - in a separate injection
|Around 12-13 years (girls)||HPV - three injections. The second injection is given 1-2 months after the first one. The third is given about six months after the first one.|
|Around 13-18 years||Td/Polio booster (combined injection of Tetanus, low dose Diphtheria, and Polio)|
If the usual schedule is interrupted or delayed for any reason, it can be resumed at any time. There is no need to start again. However, it is best to have the immunisations at the correct time as the earlier the child is protected, the better. Some exceptions to this rule are:
There are very few reasons why children should not receive their full course of immunisations. Immunisations are generally safe and effective. For some immunisations the two commonest reasons why it might not be advisable are:
See the separate leaflets on the individual immunisations for more detail.
Diphtheria is caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. It causes a serious throat and chest infection. Since immunisation was started in the 1950s, diphtheria has now become rare in the UK.
Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) is a bacterium which can cause pneumonia and meningitis. Children under the age of four are most at risk. Before the introduction of the vaccine in 1992, 1 in 600 children developed some form of Hib disease before their fifth birthday. It is now rare.
Measles is caused by the measles virus. It causes a miserable feverish illness with a rash. Complications occur in some cases such as pneumonia, convulsions or encephalitis (brain inflammation). Before the introduction of a measles vaccine in 1968, measles was a common childhood illness. It is now rare in the UK although the incidence of measles is increasing in some areas due to some children not being immunised.
Mumps is caused by the mumps virus. The infection typically causes inflammation and swelling of the salivary glands. Complications occur in some cases such as pancreatitis, orchitis (inflammation of the testes), meningitis, and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Mumps may cause permanent deafness in one ear. Again, mumps is now rare in the UK due to immunisation.
Rubella (German measles) is caused by the rubella virus. It causes a mild illness with a rash. However, if a pregnant women has rubella, the virus is likely to cause serious damage to the unborn child. The child is likely to be born with multiple defects (congenital rubella syndrome). The aim of rubella immunisation is to eliminate the rubella virus from the community as much as possible. Since rubella immunisation was introduced in 1970 there has been a dramatic fall in the number of babies born with the congenital rubella syndrome.
Meningococcus group C is a bacterium which is one cause of meningitis and septicaemia (severe blood poisoning). There are other types of meningococcus, but cases of meningitis and septicaemia caused by group C have fallen since immunisation was introduced.
Pertussis (whooping cough) is caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis. This causes a prolonged and distressing cough. Some infected children develop complications such as pneumonia or brain damage. There used to be regular epidemics of whooping cough in the UK before immunisation became available. It is now uncommon in the UK.
Pneumococcus is a bacterium (germ) which can cause pneumonia, meningitis and some other infections. Pneumococcal infection can affect anybody. However, young children, people aged 65 and over, and some other groups of people are at increased risk of pneumococcal infection.
Poliomyelitis (polio) is an illness caused by the polio virus. The virus first infects the gut, but then travels to the nervous system and can cause a meningitis-like illness. This may damage some nerves. This may lead to wasting of muscles and sometimes paralysis of one or more of the limbs. The illness can seriously affect breathing in some people and may even lead to death.
Tetanus is an infection caused by a bacterium called Clostridium tetani which is found in the soil. It causes severe and agonising muscle contractions and is often fatal. Due to immunisation it is very uncommon in the UK.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can affect the skin and mucosa (the moist membranes lining different parts of the body, including the mouth, throat and genital area). There are over one hundred different types of HPV and about 40 of these can affect the genital area. Two types, HPV 16 and 18, are involved in the development of most of the cases of cancer of the cervix. The HPV vaccine is very effective at stopping cancer of the cervix developing.
The body is given a vaccine which is a small dose of an inactive form of a bacterium or virus (germ) or a toxin (poison) made by the germ. As it is inactive it does not cause infection. However, the body makes antibodies and/or immune cells (white blood cells) against the germ or toxin. Antibodies are proteins in the bloodstream that attack infecting germs. Once we are immunised the antibodies and/or immune cells are ready to attack the germ if it begins to invade our body. More antibody can quickly be made from cells which have previously made the particular antibody.
For some bacteria and viruses it has been difficult to produce a vaccine but technology is advancing and new vaccines will be available in the future.
A new-born baby has 'passive' immunity to several diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella, from antibodies passed from its mother via the placenta. This passive immunity of babies usually only lasts for a few weeks or months, but for measles, mumps and rubella it lasts up to one year. Immunisation with vaccines is called 'active' immunity and provides long-term immunity.
From the NHS aimed at the general public.
Information above taken from patient.co.uk - 2012
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