Vaccines are the most effective way of protecting against serious infections. All children should be given the vaccines within the UK vaccine schedule unless advised by a health care professional with expertise in immunisations.

True allergies to vaccines are rare in children. Any child with suspected allergy to a vaccine should be referred to a specialist paediatric centre for investigation.

COVID-19 vaccination is now recommended for all children 5 years of age and over (Pfizer for children 5 – 11 years old)), as well as younger children 6 months to 4 years old in certain clinical risk groups.

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended unless children have had a previous allergic reaction to the vaccine, in which case they should be referred to a children’s allergist. A history of previous allergic reactions to foods or other drugs is not a contra-indication to COVID-19 vaccination.

Fever lasting up to 48 hours may occur after the new MenB vaccine (Bexsero). A dose of paracetamol should be given just prior to this vaccine and two further doses given over the next 24 hours.

All children with egg allergy CAN have the MMR vaccine in their GP surgery (see supplementary page for more details).

Unless children have been in intensive care because of egg allergy they can also be given the ‘flu vaccine in the GP surgery.

Any infant under 12 months suspected of having an immune deficiency (SCID, STAT2 deficiency, DiGeorge syndrome with very low lymphocytes), which may contraindicate live vaccines should be referred to a specialist paediatric centre for investigation.