Immunisation is the safest way to protect you and your children from serious diseases.

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.

However, if people stop having vaccines, it's possible for infectious diseases to quickly spread again.

You can read about the routine vaccination schedule for children and vaccinations available for adults in the UK, on the NHS website. If you're planning to travel outside the UK, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world. Find out more information about travel vaccinations.

Vaccinations for children

Children should complete the routine childhood immunisations provided by your GP.

Families should also consider travel vaccinations for certain countries.

Vaccinations for adults

If you're over 65, or under 65 with a long term condition such as diabetes or asthma, or if you're pregnant, you should consider:

  • having a flu vaccination every year (or while pregnant)
  • having a one off pneumococcal vaccination

If you're not sure whether you or your child have had all your routine vaccinations, ask your GP or practice nurse to find out for you.

Related information

Public Health England manages issues relating to infectious diseases, environmental hazards and emergency planning.