Why does my baby/child need immunisations?

“The two public health interventions that have had the greatest impact on the world’s health are clean water and vaccines.” (World Health Organisation)

Immunisations protect children from many serious illnesses.

To make sure that your baby/child is properly protected it is important that they still get
their immunisations on time where possible.

Health experts strongly advise that you make and keep your children’s immunisation appointments as planned.

Is it safe for my baby/child to attend the GP surgery?

As long as your family is well and not displaying symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) or other illness, it is extremely important that you arrange for your immunisation appointment when prompted by your GP or health visitor.

GP practices remain safe places for you to attend and are practicing social distancing.

GP surgeries have separated out the places they see patients who may have coronavirus
symptoms from those that don’t.

You may be asked to attend a different surgery for immunisations where there are no patients with coronavirus symptoms.

The clinician doing the immunisation will be wearing a mask, gloves and an apron.

They may look different but is to provide further protection to you and your baby/child.

When does my baby/child need their immunisations?

  • 8 weeks
  • 12 weeks
  • 16 weeks
  • 1 year old
  • 3 years 4 months

Will my baby/child be upset by their immunisations?

What can I do?

Try to be calm yourself as your child will pick up on your anxiety very easily.

Remind yourself that vaccines will protect your child for many years against a range of serious illnesses.

Without vaccination, your child is at greater risk of getting these illnesses.

You will feel calmer if you are not rushed, so leave enough time to get to the appointment and to undress your baby.

Hold your baby tightly when the injections are being given. Talking in a reassuring voice will soothe your baby.

Your baby or child may cry for a little while after a vaccination, but they should feel better after a cuddle.

Feeding just before, during and after the injections are being given will help to comfort
your baby.

For more information from Bradford health visitors on immunisation and child health, visit the Better Lives, Healthy Futures website.

You can also guidance on what to expect at your baby's 6 to 8 week appointment on the Institute of Health Visiting website.