Savvy Britain

Vaccinations in the UK

From birth to adulthood, there’s a range of vaccinations in the UK, available for free on the NHS.

You should always have vaccinations done at the recommended age so you’re protected against diseases and infections.

In some cases, people are not sure when or if they’ve had a certain vaccination. This can apply to both children and adults. If this occurs, you should contact your Doctors surgery and they will be able to get your NHS medical record.

British Routine Vaccines

Here’s a basic checklist guide of all the vaccinations that are routinely given in the United Kingdom.

Please click on a link to learn more about each vaccine in more detail.

8 Weeks
  • 5-in-1 VaccineThis is a single injection which vaccines against diphtheria, whopping cough (pertussis), polio, tetanus and Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (also known as Hib)
  • Pneumococcal Vaccine (PCV)This protects against serious and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections.
  • Rotavirus VaccineThis is an ‘oral’ vaccine which protects against rotavirus infection. This is a common cause of sickness and diarrhoea. It’s given in two doses for babies aged 8 and 12 weeks old.
  • Men B VaccineThis protects babies against infection by the ‘meningococcal group b’ Bacteria.
12 Weeks 16 Weeks One Year 2-7 Years
  • Children’s Flu Vaccine – This is an annual vaccine, which is offered yearly as a nasal spray to young children to protect them against the flu.
3 Years and 4 Months
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine (MMR) – Second Dose
  • 4-in-1 Pre School Booster – This is given as a single jab and it contains vaccines against whooping cough (pertussis), polio, tetanus and diphtheria.
12-13 Years (Girls Only)
  • HPV Vaccine – This protects against cervical cancer – two injections are usually given 6 to 12 months apart.
14 Years
  • 3-in-1 Teenage Booster – This is a single jab, which contains polio, tetanus and diphtheria.
  • Men ACWY Vaccine – This is a single jab and contains against meningitis A,C,W and Y
65 Years 65 and Over
  • Flu Vaccine – This is available every year on the NHS to protect adults against the risk of flu.
70 Years
  • Shingles Vaccine – This vaccine is given to prevent shingles, a common skin disease that can be extremely painful.


Travel Vaccines

If you’re going abroad you may be required to have certain vaccines before you leave the UK. Typically, these will be free on the NHS at your local surgery or hospital.

Travel vaccinations include: If you need a Yellow Fever vaccination, this is usually only available privately and not free on the NHS as standard.

If you’re travelling outside of the United Kingdom, remember you’ll need travel insurance. Please read our fantastic guide, which is full of helpful information, tricks and money saving tips.

If you’re travelling to a country with a high chance of disease, most insurers will request a specific vaccination as standard before they insure you. In some cases you may even get the vaccination cost covered by the insurance company!

Vaccines for Certain Groups

If you fall into a ‘risk’ group, then certain vaccinations are available on the NHS. This can be for pregnant women, people with long-term health conditions and healthcare workers.

For more information please speak to your GP about how this may apply to you.

Generally, these type of vaccines include:
  • TB Vaccination
  • Chickenpox Vaccination
  • Hepatitis B
  • Flu Vaccine For People with Long-Term Medical Conditions
  • Whooping Cough for Pregnant Women
  • Flu jab for Pregnant Women
  • Men ACWY for first-time university entrants

Things to Consider

Remember it’s important to keep up-to-date with a child’s vaccination, as it helps to protect them against infections and diseases. If you’re concerned about a certain type of vaccination, it can be a good idea to speak to your GP about the issues you have.

In most cases vaccinations have little side effects, however if you’re concerned speak to a healthcare professional beforehand.

Bare in mind, childhood vaccinations are extremely common, in 2015-2016, 93.6% of children reached their first birthday and had completed their primary immunisation courses. (Source )

Thanks to the National Health Service’s childhood vaccination programme, most children are now protected against the majority of dangerous diseases.

Did you know? In 1940 there were more than 60,000 cases and 3,283 deaths from diphtheria in the UK. By 2002, the vaccination had also eliminated this disease completely; there were just two deaths from diphtheria between 1986 and 2002. (Source - NHS )
Original Publication: 7 July 2017
Last Updated: 7 July 2017

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