It is very important that all children and babies are fully immunised. Illnesses such as diphtheria, tetanus and polio are thankfully rare now because of recent immunisation policies, but if contracted can be crippling or even fatal. Whooping cough (pertussis) causes a very distressing illness with severe prolonged coughing which can lead to permanent lung damage or, occasionally, brain damage.
The risk of vaccination, if indeed there is any, is minute and has certainly been overstated in the past. Unfortunately this led to many parents deciding against the vaccination for their children and whooping cough epidemics resulted from this. We strongly recommend that all babies have this vaccination along with their other baby injections (there are few contra-indications). If you have any worries or queries about any aspect of your child’s immunisations please feel free to discuss them with your doctor or practice nurse.
The currently recommended vaccination schedule is as follows: When your child is due for any of these please make an appointment with the nurse.
2 months…………………….1st dose diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, hib and pneumococcal (PCV)
3 months…………………….2nd dose diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, hib and meningitis C
4 months…………………….3rd dose diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, hib, meningitis C and pneumococcal (PCV)
Around 12 months ……….Hib B and meningitis C
Around 13 months MMR (measles, mumps and rubella (German measles)) and pneumococcal (PCV)
3 yrs 4 mths to 5 yrs old…Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and MMR
10 to 14 years……………..BCG (at school)
13 to 18 years……………..Tetanus, diphtheria and polio
Tetanus (booster recommended every 10 years)
Tetanus is a life-threatening disease characterised by muscular rigidity and agonising contractions. It is, fortunately, fairly rare, mainly because of vaccination. Tetanus spores are present in soil and may be introduced into the body during injury, often through a puncture wound, but also through burns or trivial unnoticed wounds. It is therefore important to maintain immunity. For those who have had their normal childhood immunisations which include tetanus, a booster is recommended every 10 years. If you think you may not be fully immunised or that your immunity has lapsed, please make an appointment with the nurse.
If you are travelling abroad, especially outside Europe, you may need extra vaccinations.
Please contact the surgery in good time as some vaccinations need to be given a month or so before travelling. A fee is payable for some of these immunisations.
For further advice ring 0891 224 100 for MASTA travel advice.