Vaccines are the safest way to protect you and your family from serious infections – they help you stay healthy. Since vaccines were introduced in the UK, diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus are rarely seen. 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.
In England, most vaccinations are offered free on the NHS. To protect children as early as possible many vaccines are offered to babies and toddlers before they start school.
Vaccinations are usually given by practice nurses at your GP practice. Practice nurses are specially trained to give advice and offer vaccines. Older children are offered some vaccinations in school For more information about the local Coventry service in schools please visit the CWPT School Aged Immunisation and Vaccination Service website
What vaccinations are recommended?
The NHS has produced a guide to help you understand the vaccines offered in the UK and when to have them. It also explains how they work and why they're safe and important. Read the NHS vaccination guidance.
If you are unsure if you or your child has had all the recommended vaccinations in England – check with your GP practice. It is never too late to catch-up on the vaccinations recommended. We have produced information leaflets that outline the current vaccine schedule, and these are available in a number of commonly spoken languages including Arabic, Bengali, Kurdish, Polish and Tigrinya. The resources can be downloaded.
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.
The issue of pork ingredients in some vaccines is a concern for some people and communities. Read about how and why pork gelatine is used in vaccines. This leaflet is available in English, Urdu, Bengali and Arabic. You can also download local resources produced by the Muslim community in Coventry here
The only vaccines containing gelatine in the UK routine vaccination schedule are:
- the shingles vaccine
- the children's nasal flu vaccine
- 1 of the 2 types of MMR vaccine
Alternative vaccines are available, and you may wish to talk to your doctor or practice nurse about how to access these.
Downloadable resources about immunisation including social media messages in other languages and a COVID-19 poster.