Vaccinations save lives and reduce hospital admissions. According to the World Health Organization, they prevent over 3 million deaths worldwide every year. Vaccination is one of the most important things we can do to protect children and young people against ill health.
Vaccinations protect you against harmful diseases before you come into contact with them. They help your immune system build protection to some dangerous infections.
This page tells you about the vaccinations that are offered to children and young people in school years reception to year 11 (ages 4 to 16) and why they are needed.
Flu is a virus that can lead to serious illnesses and death. There are flu outbreaks most winters and the virus is constantly changing. Each year, flu vaccines are changed to match the flu viruses which are going around that year, so that people get the best protection from flu.
For more information about flu vaccination, visit phw.nhs.wales/fluvaccine.
HPV lives on the skin and is spread by skin-to-skin contact. Getting the vaccine as a young person protects against future risks.
Head and neck cancers are most common in males, with around 700 men diagnosed in Wales each year.
Cervical cancer is the most common type of cancer in women under 35 and can be very serious.
For more information about HPV vaccination, visit phw.nhs.wales/HPVvaccine.
These vaccines will be offered either in school year 9 or by your child’s GP. If your child lives in the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board area, these vaccinations will only be available from their GP.
For more information about the 3-in-1 booster, visit phw.nhs.wales/3in1vaccine.
For more information about the MenACWY vaccination, visit phw.nhs.wales/MenACWYvaccine.
Each time vaccinations are offered in school, you will be sent a consent form to fill in, giving permission for your child to have the vaccination. Young people who fully understand what is involved are also legally able to make an informed decision to give their consent.
Children and young people who are not in school or who are educated at home can have all of the above vaccines from their GP surgery when they are due.
It’s a good idea to check that all other childhood immunisations are up to date, including MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).
Measles, mumps and rubella are highly infectious diseases that can easily spread between people who are not vaccinated. These diseases can have serious, potentially fatal medical complications, including meningitis, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and hearing loss. Your child needs 2 doses of the MMR vaccine for them to be protected against these diseases. You can check their red book or contact your GP surgery to see if their vaccinations are up to date. Your child may be offered missed MMR vaccines at school, but if not they can have them at their GP surgery.
For more information about MMR vaccination, visit phw.nhs.wales/MMRvaccine.
All young people have been offered COVID-19 vaccinations. Young people with health conditions that put them at greater risk from COVID-19 have been offered booster doses too. For more information about COVID-19 vaccination, visit phw.nhs.wales/covidvaccine.
Young people with some medical conditions (for example, diabetes and asthma) may also be offered flu and pneumococcal immunisations at their GP surgery.
If you have any questions or want more information, you can visit 111.wales.nhs.uk, talk to your doctor, the school nurse or the practice nurse at your GP surgery, or call NHS 111 Wales.
You can find out more information on vaccines offered in Wales at phw.nhs.wales/vaccines.
A schedule showing which vaccinations are routinely offered in Wales is available from phw.nhs.wales/CompleteSchedule.
You can find out how the NHS uses your information at 111.wales.nhs.uk/AboutUs/Yourinformation.