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Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and hepatitis B (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB, or '6-in-1' vaccine)

The DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccine, also commonly known as the ‘6-in-1 vaccine’, helps protect your baby against six serious diseases: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and hepatitis B.

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Background

The DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccine, also commonly known as the ‘6-in-1 vaccine’, helps protect your baby against six serious diseases: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and hepatitis B.

Diphtheria

Diphtheria is a serious disease, caused by a type of bacteria (Corynebacterium diphtheria). Diphtheria usually begins with a sore throat and can quickly cause breathing problems. It can damage the heart and nervous system and, in severe cases, can kill. It is rare in the UK, however it is possible to catch it while travelling in various regions of the world.

NHS 111 Wales - Diphtheria (external site)

Tetanus

Tetanus is a disease affecting the nervous system, which can cause muscle spasms, and breathing problems and can kill. It is caused when bacteria (Clostridium tetani) found in soil and manure get into the body through open wounds.

NHS 111 Wales - Tetanus (external site)

Whooping cough

Whooping cough (pertussis) is caused by a type of bacteria (Bordetella pertussis). It is a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes, and can cause long bouts of coughing and choking, making breathing difficult. Whooping cough is very easily spread.

NHS 111 Wales -Whooping cough (external site)

Polio

Polio is a virus that can attack the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis of the muscles. If it affects the chest muscles or the brain, polio can kill. Polio was once common in the UK and throughout the world. It is now rare because it can be prevented with vaccination.

NHS 111 Wales - Polio (external site)

Hib

Hib is a bacterial infection caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b that can cause a number of serious illnesses, including sepsis (blood poisoning), pneumonia (lung infection) and meningitis (swelling of the brain), particularly in young children.

The illnesses caused by Hib can kill if it is not treated quickly.

NHS 111 Wales - Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)(external site)

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver and can lead to serious liver disease. It often does not cause any obvious symptoms in adults. In children it often persists for years and may eventually cause serious liver damage.

NHS 111 Wales - Hepatitis B (external site)

The '6-in-1' vaccine

The ‘6-in-1’ vaccine is one of the first vaccines your baby will have.

It is highly effective at providing immunity to diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, Hib, and hepatitis B infections.

NHS 111 Wales - 6-in-1 vaccine (external site)

 

Eligibility for the vaccine

Baby immunisations

It is important to offer protection to babies soon as possible, as they can catch these serious diseases from birth.

The ‘6-in-1’ (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB) vaccine is routinely offered to babies at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.

Tetanus prone wounds

Babies with a tetanus prone wound (see bullets below) may be offered a dose of the ‘6-in-1’ vaccine.

Contact a GP or visit the nearest minor injury or A&E department if you’re concerned about a wound, particularly if:

  • It’s a deep wound
  • There’s dirt or something inside the wound
  • Your child is not fully vaccinated for tetanus, or you’re not sure.

A doctor will assess the wound and decide whether treatment is needed. If not fully vaccinated for tetanus, a dose of tetanus containing vaccine may be given.

If you have any questions about the ‘6-in-1' vaccine, or you are unsure about when it should be given, you can contact your GP surgery for advice.

 

About the 6 in 1 vaccine

Babies will normally be given the ‘6-in-1’ vaccine as a single injection into the upper leg (thigh). Children between one and 10 years old who have missed these vaccines will normally receive them in their upper arm.

The ‘6-in-1’ vaccine currently available in the UK is known under the brand names Infanrix hexa and Vaxelis.

If your baby or child has missed an appointment for the ‘6-in-1’ vaccination speak to your GP or practice nurse for advice.

Information about other vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Hib can be found on the following pages:

Side effects of the ‘6-in-1’ vaccine

Although it is very safe, the ‘6-in-1’ vaccine like other vaccines can have side effects. Common side effects include:

  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal crying
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite.

Other reactions are rare. For more information on common and rare side effects see: 

If you are concerned about symptoms call NHS 111 Wales (external site). Calls to NHS 111 Wales are free from landlines and mobile phones.

You can report suspected side effects of vaccines and medicines through the Yellow Card scheme. You can do this online at yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk or by calling the Yellow Card scheme hotline on 0800 731 6789 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).  

 

Information for the public

If you would like to learn more about the vaccine or the diseases it protects against, a number of information resources are available to help. You can also call NHS 111 or your GP practice for advice if you have any questions.

Leaflets

To order copies of the leaflets, visit the Health Information Resources page.

More information

NHS 111 Wales - Vaccinations (external site)