Common questions about routine childhood vaccinations

Below you can find useful links and answers to common questions from parents and carers. Click on the green bars to view the answers to the questions.

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These are the vaccines that the NHS recommends for all children, they are given for free.

Visit NHS vaccinations and when to have them - NHS ( to check which ones your child is due.

Your child can still be vaccinated if they have a minor illness e.g. a cold without a high temperature 
- If they have a high temperature, they should not be vaccinated. Make a new appointment when they are better. 

All vaccines are thoroughly tested to make sure they will not harm you or your child.

Find out more by watching this video: Why vaccination is safe and important - NHS (

Find out more about common side effects and what to expect after vaccinations in babies and young children up to 5 years of age:

When fewer children are vaccinated infectious diseases can spread much more easily. For example, cases of measles in children have increased after a drop in measles (MMR) vaccinations.

This means unvaccinated children (and children who cannot have vaccinations due to underlying conditions) are at greater risk of catching serious diseases. 

The NHS has more information: Why vaccination is safe and important - NHS (

Porcine gelatine is in two routine vaccines for children:

The MMR (VaxPro®) vaccine. An alternative MMR vaccine (Priorix®) that does not contain porcine gelatine is available and is equally effective

The nasal influenza vaccine (Fluenz® Tetra). For healthy children, there is no equivalent vaccine. There are injectable flu vaccines that do not contain porcine gelatine but these are thought to be less effective in children

Speak to your practice nurse, GP or health visitor if you have concerns about gelatine.

Fever can be expected after any vaccination.  It is more common after the first two doses of the Meningococcal B (Men B) vaccination, which are given at 8 weeks and 16 weeks old. 

If your child does develop a fever, this normally peaks around six hours after the vaccination and should settle within two days. 

If your child still has a fever 48 hours after the vaccination, or if you are concerned about their health at any time, call your GP or dial 111. If you need urgent medical help call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department.

You can catch up on any missed or delayed vaccinations (e.g. because of COVID-19).

The best thing to do is to call your GP practice to book a new appointment. 

Vaccinations will not overwhelm their immune system and do not make them more likely to get other infections. 

Children only need to use a tiny part of their immune system to respond to vaccinations. Their immune system can still fight other infections if they pick something up at the same time.

When your child is infected with a bacteria or virus, their immune system learns to defend against that same infection in the future. However, some infections can cause serious illness and even death. 

Vaccinations provide long-lasting defence against infection by teaching your child’s immune system  to fight a specific bacteria or virus, but do this without the potentially harmful effects of an infection.

No. There is no link between the MMR and autism. Studies of hundreds of thousands of children have shown that the MMR vaccine does not cause or increase the risk of your child developing autism. 

Visit The Oxford Vaccine Group at Oxford University website for more information: [MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine) | Vaccine Knowledge (].

Contact your practice nurse, GP or health visitor. They will be happy to talk to you about vaccinations and answer any of your questions. 

With thanks to the team at Connecting Care for Children for the production of this material.

These are the routine vaccinations currently offered to all children. Some additional vaccines are offered to selected groups. Find out more about NHS vaccinations and when to have them - NHS (

Your practice nurse, GP or health visitor are happy to talk to you about vaccinations if you are worried.

The Oxford Vaccine Group website has advice in other languages. Select a different language at the bottom of the linked page.

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