Childhood immunisation in the UK and Ireland

How can I protect my children from meningitis?

The single most effective thing you can do to protect your children from meningitis is to make sure they are fully immunised. Every injection in the routine immunisation programme for babies protects against some form of meningitis, as indicated in bold.

Meningitis vaccines in the routine immunisation schedule for children in the UK

2 months 3 months 4 months 12 to 13months  13/14 years*
Hib + diptheria, tetanus,
whooping cough, polio
(DTaP/IPV/Hib)
Hib + diptheria, tetanus,
whooping cough, polio
(DTaP/IPV/Hib)
Hib + diptheria, tetanus,
whooping cough, polio
(DTaP/IPV/Hib)

 
Pneumococcal (PCV13)

Pneumococcal (PCV13) Pneumococcal (PCV13)  

Meningococcal C (MenC)

Meningococcal C (MenC)



Hib + Meningococcal C (Hib/MenC)  



Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)  

* The routine MenC booster immunisation for teenagers started in the 2013/14 academic year. It is offered at around 14 years of age (school years 9 or 10 in England and Wales, 11 in Northern Ireland and S3 in Scotland)

Meningitis vaccines in the current schedule for children in Ireland

2 months 4 months 6 months 12 months 13 months
Diptheria/ Tetanus/ Pertussis/ Polio / Hib/ Hepatitis B
('6-in-one')
Diptheria/ Tetanus/ Pertussis/ Polio / Hib/ Hepatitis B
('6-in-one')
Diptheria/ Tetanus/ Pertussis/ Polio / Hib/ Hepatitis B
('6-in-one')



MenC* MenC*
MenC*
Pneumococcal
Pneumococcal Pneumococcal



MMR




Hib





* During 2015 the MenC vaccination schedule is changing from doses at 4, 6 and 13 months of age to doses at 4 and 13 months with a booster at 12-13 years. The MenC booster will be given as part of the school immunisation programme to children in their 1st year of second level school in the second or third term of the academic year (from January 2015). The exact date that the 6 month dose will be removed from the current primary schedule is yet to be confirmed, but will take place in 2015.

Although vaccines provide excellent protection, not all forms of meningitis can be prevented, so it is important to know the symptoms so that you can recognise the disease in time to get medical help if your child is affected.