Immunisation

Immunisation plays an important role in protecting the health of our communities. The information below can help you make informed decisions about immunisation.

Babies up to 13 months - Immunisation is the safest and most effective way of protecting your baby against serious diseases. By having your baby immunised at the recommended times, you are protecting them through early childhood against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio, measles, mumps, rubella, rotavirus and Meningitis B. To find out more visit Immunisation Scotland - babies up to 13 months

Children from 3 years 4 months - Protection against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio can fade over time. Also, immunity to measles, mumps and rubella may not develop after a single dose of the MMR vaccine. The immunisations offered from age 3 years 4 months – often called pre-school boosters – will top up your child’s level of antibodies (the substances our bodies produce to fight off disease and infection) and help to keep them protected. For more information visit Immunisation Scotland - children from 3 years 4 months 

Teenagers 12 to 18 years - Thanks to immunisation, diseases such as polio have disappeared in the UK. However, these diseases could come back as they are still around in many countries throughout the world - which is why it’s so important to get your jabs. Although most teenagers were probably immunised against tetanus, diphtheria and polio as a child, and may still have some protection, the Teenage booster completes the routine immunisations and gives longer-term protection. The HPV vaccine, given to girls aged 12 to 13, helps to protect against cervical cancer. Teenagers are now also eligible for the MenACWY vaccine, which will help to protect them from strains that were not routinely given to babies. These vaccinations are provided in school by the NHS Lothian school nurse team. To find out more visit Immunisation Scotland - Teenagers 12 to 18 years

Young adults 20 to 24 - Although there are no routine immunisations advised for young adults, you should make sure all your immunisations are up-to-date. You may have missed out as new vaccines have been introduced in the last few years. To find out more visit Immunisation Scotland - Young adults​

Pregnant women - You can help protect your unborn baby from getting whooping cough​ in his or her first weeks of life by having the whooping cough vaccine while you are pregnant – even if you’ve been immunised before or have had whooping cough yourself. Young babies are particularly at risk because they are vulnerable until they can be immunised against whooping cough from 2 months of age. The annual flu vaccine is made available from October each year in advance of the winter flu season. If you are pregnant, you are at greater risk of complications from flu. Having the vaccine could help you avoid catching flu and protect your baby.

Older adults over 65 years - Older adults over 65 years of age, or adults with serious heart, chest, kidney and other long-term health problems, are recommended to get the flu vaccine for protection against flu. The annual flu vaccine is made available from October each year in advance of the winter flu season. A fresh vaccine is developed and provided each year to protect against the particular flu strains circulating that year. Everyone aged over 65 is also recommended to get the Pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia. To find out more visit Immunisation Scotland - older adults

Last Reviewed: 28/03/2017