The 6-in-1 vaccine is 1 of the first vaccines your baby will have. It is given as a single injection to protect your baby against 6 serious childhood diseases, namely diphtheria, hepatitis B, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), polio, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis).
When should babies have the 6-in-1 vaccine?
The 6-in-1 vaccine is given to babies at 8, 12 and 16 weeks old. 3 doses are needed to make sure they develop strong immunity to the 6 diseases the vaccine protects against. Each booster dose given increases your baby’s immune response.
How is the vaccine given?
The vaccine is injected into your baby’s thigh.
How well does the vaccine work?
The 6-in-1 vaccine works produces very good immunity to diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, Hib, polio and hepatitis B infections.
Is the vaccine safe?
The 6-in-1 vaccine is an inactivated vaccine (it does not contain any live organisms), so there is no risk of your baby getting the diseases from the vaccine. However, it is common for babies to be a little irritable after the injection, they may also have some redness, swelling and a small bump at the injection site. Common reactions to the 6-in-1 vaccine include:
- pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
- fever (high temperature above 38C), more common at the second and third dose.
- abnormal crying
- loss of appetite
Rarer side effects after the 6-in-1 vaccine include:
- unusual high-pitched crying
- fits or seizures
Can the 6-in-1 vaccine be given at the same time as other vaccines?
It is safe for your baby to have the 6-in-1 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines, such as the rotavirus vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine and MenB vaccine.
Which babies should not have the 6-in-1 infant vaccine?
The vast majority of babies can have the 6-in-1 vaccine, but there are a few that should not. These include those who:
- are allergic to the vaccine
- have a high temperature at the time of the vaccination appointment
- have signs of a neurological problem that is getting worse, including poorly controlled epilepsy (it is best to wait until they have been seen by a specialist)
- who have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a previous dose of the vaccine or a reaction to any part of the vaccine that may be present in trace amounts, such as neomycin, streptomycin or polymixin B.
There is no need to postpone vaccination if your baby has a minor illness, such as a cough or a cold with no temperature.
If your baby has a history of fits (febrile convulsions) or has suffered a fit within 72 hours of a previous dose of the vaccine, speak to your health visitor or child health nurse for advice.
What if your baby misses the 6-in-1 vaccination appointment?
It is best for babies to be vaccinated at the recommended age, as they are then protected from serious diseases as early in life as possible. If your baby has missed an appointment for the 6-in-1 vaccination, please make an appointment with your local child health clinic. Click here to view leaflet on the 6-in-1 vaccine.