The 5-in-1 vaccine is one of the first vaccines your baby will have.
It's given as a single injection to protect your baby against five serious childhood diseases:
When should babies have the 5-in-1 vaccine?
The 5-in-1 vaccine is given three times - when babies are 8, 12 and 16 weeks old.
Your baby needs three doses to make sure they develop strong immunity against the five diseases the vaccine protects against.
Every time another dose of the vaccine is given, your baby's immune response increases.
How is the 5-in-1 vaccine given?
The vaccine is injected into your baby's thigh.
How well does the 5-in-1 vaccine work?
The 5-in-1 vaccine works well. It produces very good immunity to diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, Hib and polio infections.
How safe is the 5-in-1 vaccine?
The 5-in-1 vaccine is very safe. It's inactivated, which means it doesn't contain any live organisms, so there is no risk of your baby getting the diseases it protects against.
The vaccine also has few side effects, although it's common for babies to be a little irritable afterwards. They may also have a short-lived small bump, redness and swelling at the injection site.
There are two 5-in-1 vaccines that are used in the UK. Either can be given to babies as part of the childhood vaccination programme.
Their brand names are Pediacel and Infanrix IPV Hib.
Read more about 5-in-1 vaccine side effects.
Can the 5-in-1 be given at the same time as other vaccines?
Which babies should not have the 5-in-1 infant vaccine?
The vast majority of babies can have the 5-in-1 jab, but there are a few babies who should not have it.
They include babies who:
- are allergic to the vaccine
- have a fever at the time of the vaccination appointment
- have signs of a neurological problem that is getting worse, including poorly controlled epilepsy
The vaccine should not be given to babies who have had an anaphylactic reaction (severe allergic reaction) to a previous dose of the vaccine, or a reaction to any part of the vaccine that may be present in trace amounts, such as neomycin, streptomycin or polymixin B.
There is no need to postpone vaccination if your baby has a minor illness, such as a cough or a cold with no fever. But if your baby is ill with a fever, it's best to delay vaccination until they have recovered.
Children who show signs of a neurological problem that is getting worse, including poorly controlled epilepsy, should have their vaccination postponed until they have been seen by a specialist.
If your child has a history of febrile convulsions (fits) or has suffered a fit within 72 hours of a previous dose of the vaccine, speak to your GP, nurse or health visitor. They will advise you about what to do.
What if I miss the 5-in-1 vaccination appointment?
It's best for babies to be vaccinated at the recommended age, as they are then protected from serious diseases as early in life as possible.
However, don't worry if your baby has missed an appointment for the 5-in-1 vaccination. It's never too late to have it. Make an appointment with your GP surgery or local child health clinic.
Article provided by NHS Choices