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Vaccinations play an essential role in healthcare, but what is a vaccine and when should your child be getting them?
A vaccine is a substance that can teach the immune system to make antibodies against a specific disease. Once our immune systems know how to do this, they can protect us if we’re ever exposed to the infection.
Vaccinations can be divided into two main types:
Many different kinds of live and inactive vaccines are available that can protect your child against different infections. The most important ones are included in the routine childhood vaccination schedule.
The routine immunisation schedule sets out which vaccines should be offered to children in the UK and when they should have them. The schedule has changed over time, so the vaccinations that are offered today may not be the same as the ones that you had as a child. Many of the vaccines are combined into one shot in order to reduce the number of injections that your child has to get.
In addition to the routine vaccinations that are offered to all children in the UK, you may want to consider some extra shots depending on your family circumstances. For example: