Babies from three months up to 14 years old are given immunisations to fight against serious childhood illnesses and disease. Childhood illnesses can be infectious. Children being vaccinated have helped to eradicate diphtheria, polio and tetanus. The immunisation schedule may change from year to year.
As a parent it is your responsibility to book the routine vaccinations with your GP practice. Your health visitor will remind you and discuss immunisations at your new birth and 6-8 week visits.
The full schedule and further guidance can be found on the links below:
|Routine childhood immunisations
|What to expect after vaccinations
The BCG vaccination protects against a serious infection called Tuberculosis – often known as TB. It affects the lungs and can also affect bones, joints, brain and kidneys. The BCG vaccine is one of the most widely used of all current vaccines, and overall, it reaches more than 80% of all newborn children and infants in countries where it is part of the national childhood Immunisation program. The aim of the neonatal BCG immunisation programme is to prevent infection from TB and reduce the risk of progression to severe disease. The vaccine is normally given to children as it has been shown to provide very good protection against the pulmonary and meningeal forms of TB in children.
The vaccine is not routinely given in the UK and is offered here in NELFT to babies identified as at a higher risk of coming into contact with TB:
- are born in areas of the UK where TB rates are high
- have a parent or grandparent who was born in a country where there's a high rate of TB
- live with, or are close contacts of, someone with infectious TB
Your health visitor will discuss this with you and if your child is identified as eligible, a referral to our Paediatric BCG team will be made there and then.
Once the referrals arrive at the NELFT Paediatric BCG service, phone calls will be made to parents to arrange a date and time for the vaccination. The BCG service receives a huge number of referrals and will do its utmost to appoint babies for their vaccinations
The staff within this service will call you / text message you to offer an appointment. You will be advised to attend the clinic with just you and your baby and not to bring other children with you. You will also be asked to do a lateral Flow test the day before your clinic date so that the team are able to support you with your baby’s vaccination. Should baby’s father be the one to attend the session, it will be important for mother of baby to reachable by phone to go through a couple of medical questions, all this is in aid of protecting you and your baby.
As with some medications and medical conditions there are some contraindications to this vaccine, and sometimes this will be just to extend the period between the initial medication and the BCG vaccine before the injection is given or it may not be safe to offer the vaccine without a letter from baby’s consultant paediatrician.
BCG is a live attenuated vaccine and should not be given to a baby with an immune suppressed condition, or to infants born to a mother who have received or are receiving immunosuppressive biological therapy, e.g., chemotherapy or radiotherapy without specialist clinical advice, the nurses will discuss all this with you as well during the appointment session. This means that if baby’s father brings baby to the appointment, the nurse will ask to speak to mum on the phone to check some parts of her medical history, so when staff book appointments they will ask for mum to be reachable should the nurse needs to discuss mum’s medical history. This is necessary to be able to protect your baby at all times.