VACCINES are common for young children in order to build their immunity and protect against a variety of illnesses.
There are some routine vaccines which are given to all babies on the NHS, this includes the first polio jab.
When do babies get the polio vaccine?
The polio vaccine is a combination of three doses of immunisation, each protecting against the three types of polio.
Childhood immunisation schedule starts at eight weeks old, where babies are given two injections and drops into the mouth.
This protects against eight known illnesses, one of which is polio along with hepatitis B, tetanus and others.
At 12 weeks, the baby will go for their second injections and drops to boost the existing immunisation.
Finally at 16 weeks they will get their third polio injection as part of the six in one jab, which provides up to 99% immunity from the virus.
How long does the polio vaccine last?
The polio vaccine will last up to 10 years but you must have all three doses to be fully vaccinated.
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At 14 many children will get a booster jab which includes polio.
This vaccine is usually given out in schools and also protects against tetanus and diphtheria.
Often people in the UK will not get another polio vaccine unless they are travelling to a country which requires one.
If you are visiting a country which polio is still found, it is recommended that you get a booster jab two weeks before going.
There are only two countries where the virus is still endemic, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but it may be recommended for other areas too.
Which other vaccines do babies get?
As well as the polio vaccination, babies are immunised against many illnesses over the eight, 12 and 16 week vaccinations.
At one year old, children receive another jab for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) as well as meningitis, sepsis, and pneumonia.
The total list of illnesses across all four vaccinations are:
- pertussis (whooping cough)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- hepatitis B
- meningococcal group B disease (MenB)
- pneumococcal disease
- measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
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All vaccines are optional but the NHS recommends getting your child immunised as it could save their life and contributes to the herd immunity globally.
Two strains of polio have almost been eradicated thanks to the vaccination efforts.
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