A new edition of a guide on immunisation for babies up to the age of one now features the new MenB (meningococcal group B disease) vaccination and the complete NHS immunisation programme from July 2016.
The vaccinations which are given in four stages at 8 weeks; 12 weeks; 16 weeks; and one year of age, include immunisation against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, MenB, measles, mumps and rubella.
Leading GP at NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Chris Clayton, explains why it is so important parents follow the NHS immunisation programme for their children.
“Many of the diseases that the NHS vaccinates against can be very serious in young babies. They can cause lifelong health problems and potentially death. Once we are immunised, our bodies are better able to cope and fight off those diseases.
“Vaccines work by causing the body’s immune system to make antibodies (substances that fight off infection and disease). If your child comes into contact with the infection, the antibodies will recognise it and be ready to protect him or her. Because vaccines have been used so successfully in the UK, diseases such as diphtheria have almost disappeared from this country.
“The more parents who have their children vaccinated, then more children in the community will be protected against an illness and prevent other children in catching the disease.”
The guide can be downloaded at www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-guide-to-immunisations-for-babies-up-to-13-months-of-age
More information can also be found on NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk