what is the 5-in-1 vaccine?
The 5-in-1 vaccine protects against five serious childhood diseases. It's given to young babies in a single dose on three occasions.
what are the five diseases?
- whooping cough
- hib disease
when should my baby have the vaccination?
The 5-in-1 vaccine is given to your baby at two months, three months, and four months. There are three doses to make sure that your baby develops good immunity against the five diseases.
how is the vaccination given?
The 5-in-1 is injected into your baby’s thigh. Some babies are surprisingly chilled out about it all, while others will let you know they're not too keen. The nurse will show you how best to hold your baby while it happens, making them feel safe – and stopping some of that wriggling!
The nurse will ask you and your baby to wait in the surgery for a short time afterwards. This is to make sure your baby doesn’t have any nasty reactions (see below). It's also the perfect time for a few comforting cuddles, and maybe a reassuring feed.
what about any 5-in-1 vaccine side effects?
The 5-in-1 is not a live vaccine so it doesn't contain any of the bacteria or viruses it protects against. This means there's no risk of your baby catching anything.
There are a few common but mild side effects, which can often be relieved by giving your baby Calpol (infant paracetemol) – just have a word with the nurse first. Your baby may experience:
- redness, tenderness, and swelling around the injection
- a loss of appetite
- has a very high temperature
- has a febrile seizure (fit)
- screams in an unusually high-pitched way and has hypotonic-hyporesponsive episodes (becomes pale or blueish in colour, and is limp)
There are a few serious – but rare – side effects. While these can be worrying for you as a parent, there shouldn't be any long-term effects. Seek medical advice if your baby:
can all babies have the vaccine?
Most babies can have the 5-in-1. However, speak to your GP if your baby:
- is allergic to the vaccination or has had an anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose
- has a fever (raised temperature) at the time of the appointment
- has a neurological problem such as epilepsy
- had a fit within 72 hours of a previous vaccination
what happens if we miss the appointment?
Not a problem. Simply contact your GP surgery or clinic to make a new appointment. Stick to the recommended schedule if you can, as it's designed to start building your baby's immunity from the get-go.
how do i find out more?
If you're unsure about vaccinating your baby, have a chat with your GP or health visitor. They'll be more than happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about 5-in-1 vaccine safety.