Feb-Mar 2018

Healthy Peterborough

Why does my child require vaccination?

As soon as babies are born they are exposed to a huge number of bugs. Vaccinations (also call immunisations) protect children from dangerous childhood diseases and increase herd immunity in the population.

Watch these videos to understand more.


How do I know when to vaccinate my child?

By entering your child’s date of birth on the vaccination calendar, you can see the dates of your child’s routine vaccination.

There are a number of vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK, for free on the NHS, and ideal ages when these vaccines should be given.

Full details of all these vaccinations and more can be found on the NHS Choices website.

If you're not sure whether you or your child have had all your routine vaccinations, ask your GP or practice nurse to find out for you. It may be possible to catch up later in life.

What can parents expect?

  • Appointment letter
    You'll automatically receive an appointment letter when your baby or child is due for a routine vaccination. It could be at your GP practice or a local child health clinic.

  • Attend appointment at GP or health clinic with ‘red book’.
    Remember to take your Personal Child Health Record (PCHR), commonly called the ‘red book’ because of its red cover, to the appointment. Details of the vaccination will be recorded in it.

Suggestions to ease your vaccination appointment

  • Wear vaccination-friendly clothes
    Dressing your baby or child in the right clothes can save time and effort at the vaccination clinic. Babies under 12 months have injections in the thigh. Toddlers and older children have them in the arm. Thin cotton layers fastened with poppers are perfect for babies, and loose or short sleeves for toddlers and older children. Avoid chunky, padded or tight-fitting clothes with lots of buttons and straps.

  • Get to the vaccination appointment on time
    Give yourself sufficient time to get to your appointment.  Ideally, allow yourself an hour.

  • Before the injection
    Tell the nurse about any bad reactions your child has had after any previous vaccinations.

  • Stay calm
    It's natural to worry about your child's pain. Try to stay calm and treat the procedure in a matter-of-fact way. If you're anxious, your child may sense this and also become anxious and restless. Older children generally find it less traumatic if parents explain to them in plain language that vaccination is a good thing.

  • Hold your child during vaccination
    Usually, the doctor or nurse will ask you to hold your child on your knee 
    while they vaccinate them. If the injection is quick, your child won't even see the needle or notice that anything has happened. If you're nervous about seeing your child having an injection, ask a nurse or another member of staff to hold them for you. Children rarely faint after a vaccination, but if your child is prone to fainting, ask if they can have the vaccination lying down.

After the vaccination

Make sure that the type of injection (and where it was given) is noted down in your red book and in your child's GP records. Your child may need this information later in life – for example, for school trips, when applying for certain jobs, or going to live or study abroad.

Give permission for relatives to take children for vaccinations 

It is possible for a relative, friend or childminder to take your child for vaccinations, if they have parental permission to do soParents can inform the surgery in advance or give them a letter with their contact details for the surgery to contact if required.   

What to do if you miss a vaccination?

Don't panic. You don't have to start the course of vaccines again. Just let the clinic know so they can rearrange the vaccination as close to the recommended age as possible.

Where can parents get more information?

NHS Choices website.


Routine immunisation schedule

Vaccination calendar

Your GP surgery



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Healthy Peterborough is led by:
  • Peterborough City Council
  • Peterborough Pharmacies
  • Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust