Important vaccinations for your newborn

The NHS recommends vaccinating your newborn against diseases such as measles, rubella, tetanus and meningitis. The first vaccine is recommended at eight weeks.  The vaccinations that follow after are given at 12 weeks, 16 weeks and 12 months. We share important information about vaccinating your newborn.

Why should you vaccinate your newborn?

baby cries when getting vaccinated

According to the NHS, vaccinations prevent up to three million deaths globally every year. When your newborn enters the world, they are naturally exposed to harmful pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses. Vaccinating your newborn not only protects them from disease, but also protects other newborns by preventing the spread of disease.  

The NHS states that your baby can still be vaccinated if they have a minor illness without a high temperature, such as a cold, allergies, asthma, eczema and food intolerances.

Babies can also be vaccinated if they are born prematurely. Premature babies or babies born before 26 weeks of pregnancy have a greater risk of getting infections because their immune systems are less developed. Postponing vaccinations for premature babies can leave them vulnerable and exposed to disease.

The usual vaccination schedule for newborns

8 weeks

  • 6-in-1 vaccine;
  • Rotavirus (RV) vaccine, and
  • Meningitis B (MenB) vaccine.

According to the NHS, when your baby is eight weeks old, they should receive their first dose of the 6-in-1 vaccine, rotavirus (RV) vaccine and meningitis B (MenB) vaccine. 

The 6-in-1 vaccine protects against diphtheria, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenza type B (Hib), polio, tetanus and whooping cough.

The rotavirus vaccine protects against the rotavirus. The rotavirus is an infectious stomach bug that can trigger diarrhoea, vomiting and fevers in babies and young children. 

The MenB vaccine protects babies against infections caused by the meningococcal group, B bacteria. The NHS identifies MenB as responsible for more than 90% of meningococcal infections in young children. 

12 weeks

  • Second dose of the 6-in-1 vaccine, and
  • First dose of the PCV vaccine

At 12 weeks, your baby should receive their second dose of the 6-in-1 vaccine and first dose of their pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine.

The PCV vaccine offers protection against severe and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections. These can cause sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis. 

16 weeks

  • Third dose of the 6-in-1 vaccine, and
  • Second dose of the MenB vaccine

At 16 weeks, your baby will receive their third dose of the 6-in-1 vaccine and second dose of the MenB vaccine. 

12 months

  • Hib/MenC vaccine (combined booster jab)
  • MMR jab
  • Second dose of PCV vaccine
  • Third dose of MenB vaccine

When your baby turns 12 months old, they should be given their Hib/MenC vaccine (combined booster jab).

The Hib/MenC vaccine is a single injection give to boost protection against haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningitis C.

Hib and meningitis C infections are potentially fatal. They can both cause meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia). The NHS describes meningitis as the most severe illness caused by Hib.

In addition to the Hib and MenC jab, your baby will be able to receive a single jab vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) at 12 months. This will be followed by their second dose of the PCV vaccine and third dose of the MenB vaccine.  

Vaccination side effects

Some newborns mighty experience swelling or redness straight after receiving a vaccination. In other instances, a small and hard lump might appear above their skin (in the vaccinated area).

This area can be sensitive to touch, but these symptoms do not require treatment.

Discover more about vaccination side effects through the NHS.

Combatting the baby blues

It is natural to feel anxious and tearful after giving birth. 

These symptoms, caused by dramatic hormonal shifts in the body, are referred to as baby blues. They can last up to two weeks after post-birth. However, if your symptoms persist, you might be suffering with post-natal depression.   

The NHS describes signs of post-natal depression as a persistent low mood, lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, a lack of enjoyment in life and a loss of interest in the wider world. 

Other signs of post-natal depression include withdrawal from social contact, struggling to bond with your baby and experiencing disturbing thoughts.

Post-natal depression can develop over time. It’s essential to speak to your GP about this.

You can also speak with a counsellor about this. At Circle Health Group, we have many dedicated specialists trained in mental wellbeing. 

Circle Health Group: Pregnancy care

Regular scans during your pregnancy can check if your baby is healthy and provide reassurance throughout each step of your pregnancy journey.

Circle Health Group offer accelerated access to 3D or 4D foetal anatomy or dating scans. Our specialist prenatal care includes an early pregnancy and dating scan, a foetal anatomy and anomaly scan and the nuchal translucency scan to test for Down’s syndrome and chromosomal abnormalities. We also offer sexing scans to identify the sex of your baby.   

If you would like to book an appointment to discuss your pregnancy care or learn more about our services, please contact our team through our enquiry form or by calling 0808 101 0337. 

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