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Vaccinations for young people

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 guide explains the vaccinations that are given to young people in school years 7 to 11 (ages 11 to 16) and why they are needed.





How to get the vaccination

Age 11 to 16 (school years 7 to 11). It is given every year.

The flu vaccine is also offered to lots of other children.

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.

Most young people will be offered the flu vaccine in school, as a nasal spray.

Flu vaccinations are only given between September and March each autumn or winter.

For more information about flu vaccination, visit:


Human Papillomavirus (HPV)



How to get the vaccination

Age 12 to 13
(school year 8)

HPV vaccination is important to prevent a range of cancers later in life, including cervical cancer and head and neck cancers. Getting the vaccine protects against future risks.


Young people will be offered the HPV vaccine in school.

In the past, the HPV vaccine has been offered as two doses. Expert evidence now shows one dose provides young people with the same level of protection as the previous two doses. From September 2023, the HPV vaccine will be offered as one dose to all girls and boys.

If your child missed their HPV vaccination at school, they can still have it up to their 25th birthday.

For more information about HPV vaccination, visit:


Tetanus, Diphtheria & Polio (3-in-1 teenage booster)


Why? How to get the vaccination

Age 13 to 14
(school year 9)

The 3-in-1 teenage booster vaccination helps to boost protection against tetanus, diphtheria and polio. Children are offered four doses of vaccine to protect against these diseases before they are four years old. The teenage booster is the fifth dose, which will give most people lifelong protection.

Tetanus and diphtheria are serious diseases that can damage the heart and nervous system. Polio is a virus that attacks the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis of muscles. In severe cases, tetanus and polio can kill.

In most areas in Wales, your child will have the 3-in-1 teenage booster in school. In a few areas where the vaccine is not given in school, you will be invited to have it at your GP surgery.

For more information about the 3-in-1 booster, visit:


Meningitis and Septicaemia (MenACWY)


Why? How to get the vaccination

Age 13 to 14
(school year 9)

The MenACWY vaccine provides good protection against serious infections caused by meningococcal (Men) A, C, W and Y diseases.

Meningococcal disease usually occurs as meningitis or septicaemia (blood poisoning). Most people make a full recovery, but some infections are particularly severe. They can be fatal and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves.

The MenACWY vaccine is offered at the same time as the 3-in-1 teenage booster.

In most areas in Wales, children have the vaccination in school. In a few areas, they will be invited to have it at their GP surgery.

If your child missed their MenACWY vaccination at school, they can still have the vaccine up to their 25th birthday.

For more information about MenACWY vaccination, visit:


Anything else I should know?

Each time vaccinations are offered in school, you will be sent a consent form to sign, 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 vaccines in the table above 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


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


Where can I get more information?

If you have any questions or want more information, you can visit, 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

A schedule showing which vaccinations are routinely offered in Wales is available from:

You can find out how the NHS uses your information at



May 2023 © Public Health Wales NHS Trust and Welsh Government Version 1.