Here’s a checklist of the vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK for free on the NHS, and the ages at which they should ideally be given.
If you’re not sure whether you or your child have had all your routine vaccinations, ask your GP or practice nurse to find out for you. It may be possible to ‘catch up’ later in life.
5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine – this single jab contains vaccines to protect against five separate diseases: 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)
Rotavirus vaccine (from July 1 2013)
5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine, second dose
Rotavirus vaccine, second dose
5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine, third dose
Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine, second dose
Between 12 and 13 months
Hib/Men C booster, given as a single jab containing Meningitis C (second dose) and Hib (fourth dose)
Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, given as a single jab
Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine, third dose
3 years and 4 months, or soon after
Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, second dose
4-in-1 (DTaP/IPV) pre-school booster, given as a single jab containing vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis) and polio
Around 12-13 years
HPV vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer (girls only) – three jabs given within six months
Around 13-18 years
3-in-1 (Td/IPV) teenage booster, given as a single jab which contains vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus and polio
Around 13-15 years
Meningitis C booster (from September 2013)
65 and over
Flu (every year)
Vaccines for special groups
There are some vaccines that aren’t routinely available to everyone on the NHS but which are available for people who fall into certain risk groups, such as pregnant women, people with long term health conditions and healthcare workers.
There are some travel vaccines that you should be able to have free on the NHS from your local surgery. These include the hepatitis A vaccine, the typhoid vaccine and the cholera vaccine. Other travel vaccines, such as yellow fever vaccination, are only available privately. Find out more from our section on travel vaccines.