Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill health.  Excluding the COVID-19 vaccination, they prevent up to 3 million deaths worldwide every year. Since vaccines were introduced in the UK, diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus that used to kill or disable millions of people are either gone or seen very rarely. Other diseases like measles and diphtheria have been reduced by up to 99.9% since their vaccines were introduced. However, if people stop having vaccines, infectious diseases may quickly spread again.

All vaccines are thoroughly tested to make sure they will not harm you or your child.
Speak to your practice nurse, GP or your Health Visitor if you're worried about you or your child having a vaccine.  You can text your Health Visitor on CHAT Health: 07507 329114 or via Facebook.

Pork gelatine can be found in the Mumps, Measles and Rubella (MMR) vaccination but there is another MMR vaccine that you can have that does not have pork gelatine in it, but you must ask your GP for this vaccine before your appointment.  Read about how and why pork gelatine is used in very few vaccines. This leaflet is available in English, Urdu, Bengali and Arabic.


  • Get your baby vaccinated to help protect them from serious illnesses
  • It is important to get routine vaccines on time and every time.
  • If you or a member of your family have missed a vaccine appointment contact your GP surgery to make an appointment to catch up
  • Children should receive their pre-school boosters before entering school; protect our schools from preventable diseases
  • Pregnant - don’t delay your vaccinations
  • Support older people to get their vaccinations too

Common side effects of having vaccination

Many vaccines can cause mild side effects which last for a short time and include:

  • High temperature within 24 hours of vaccination
  • Pain, swelling or redness where the injection was given
  • Being sick
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite

The nurse will advise you about pain relief at your appointment.


Everyone over the age of 5 is eligible for at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Every adult can now have a booster shot, with additional boosters available to older people, care home residents, and anyone with weakened immune systems. Find out more about how to get your COVID-19 vaccines.

Missed a vaccination appointment?

It's best to have the vaccination at the recommended time so that you and your family are protected as early as possible. But if you have missed an appointment, contact your GP surgery to discuss if and how you can catch up.


Downloadable resources about immunisation including social media messages in other languages and a COVID-19 poster.

Listen to a Coventry Health Visitor talking about the importance of vaccinations