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Protect yourself from diseases

Vaccinations are a safe and effective way to protect people against potentially damaging and life-threatening diseases.

Most vaccinations are given in childhood and protect against diseases such as tetanus, mumps, measles, polio, meningitis and many others. Childhood vaccinations are given at specific times to ensure that they provide the greatest possible protection from the above diseases.

  • Follow the link to see the NHS vaccination programme
  • If you have any questions about vaccinations, please speak to your GP or health visitor

MenACWY meningitis vaccination

The MenACWY vaccination – which protects against four types of meningitis – has recently been introduced to the childhood immunisation programme for Year 9 (13-14 years) students.

From January 2016, GPs will also be providing this to Year 11 students (15-16 years). As this is a ‘catch up’ group, Year 11 students will not be invited to get this vaccination so will need to book an appointment with their GP to receive it.

So if you’re currently in this year group at school, or you’re a parent or carer for someone who is, please make an appointment with your GP for this very important vaccination.

For more information, read the NHS MenACWY leaflet, or get more general vaccinations information on NHS Choices.

Additional vaccinations

Additional vaccinations may be given to groups of people  who are at particular risk of certain diseases. These include hepatitis B and BCG vaccine to protect against tuberculosis (TB) infection.

  • a shingles vaccination has been introduced for people aged 70-78 years old. In addition, anyone who is eligible for immunisation in the first two years of the programme (up until September 2017) but has not yet been vaccinated against shingles remains eligible until their 80th birthday. The NHS website has more information on the shingles vaccination.
  • due to an increase in whooping cough, a Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is being offered to all pregnant women. Women are advised to have it between 28-32 weeks of pregnancy, but can have it up to 38 weeks. The NHS website has more information on the whooping cough vaccine.

Travel vaccinations

If you are planning to travel abroad, visit the website below for advice on the vaccines needed for your destination – and plan these well in advance of your travel date.

Although vaccinations for travel are available, most are not be provided by the NHS and you will be charged for the vaccine.

Childhood immunisation programme

The childhood immunisation programme is a national programme offered to all children. In Portsmouth, most childhood vaccinations are given at your GP practice. However, some vaccinations like the HPV vaccination for 12 – 13 year old girls and the flu vaccination for children in years 1 and 2, are provided at your child’s school by the School Nursing service.

Your local surgery or the child health department will contact you to remind you to attend for your or your child’s vaccinations. The school nursing service will also contact you with regards to any relevant vaccinations that they offer.

If you feel that your child has been missed or you have not received an invitation, please contact your doctor’s surgery, or your child’s school for the HPV or flu vaccinations.

Adult vaccinations

In most cases, vaccinations are provided at local doctors’ surgeries. Flu and pneumococcal vaccinations are also available at some pharmacies or supermarkets, as well as GP surgeries.

If you have any queries regarding your eligibility for vaccinations, please contact your GP. If you are pregnant, your midwife can also administer the flu vaccine at your antenatal appointment.

If you have any questions about vaccinations, please speak to your GP or health visitor.