Second only to the provision of clean water, vaccinations have the greatest impact on the burden of infectious diseases. Vaccines stimulate the body’s own immune system to facilitate the protection against future encounters with the corresponding infection or disease. Immunization is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases and is estimated to prevent up to 3 million deaths each year.

Vaccines due to their rigorous safety checks are far safer than therapeutic medicines, and most “vaccine scares” have be shown to be false; unfortunately, misguided safety concerns have led to a fall in vaccine coverage in some countries, which has in turn lead to a resurgence in some infections (for example pertussis and measles).

Eradication appears an ideal goal for immunization programmes, but to date only smallpox has been eradicated (allowing the discontinuation of routine smallpox vaccines globally). Whilst we may not be able to eradicated certain diseases globally, it is possible to eliminate them locally; this requires a communal drive to ensure all members of our community adhere to their vaccine schedules.

Vaccines offered in Gibraltar

Name of Vaccine:Protection against:Given at (approx.) age:
BCGTuberculosis (TB)at birth
6-in-1Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b) and hepatitis B2, 3 and 4 months
PneumococcalPneumococcal infections3 and 13 months
Also (1 dose) age 65+ years
RotarixRotavirus infection2 and 3 months
Men BMeningitis (caused by meningococcal type B bacteria) 2, 4 and 13 months
Hib/Men CHaemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningitis (caused by meningococcal group C bacteria)13 – 15 months
MMRMeasles, mumps and rubella13 months & 3.5 years (Pre-school year)
4-in-1 preschool boosterDiphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio 3-3.5 years (Pre-school year)
HPVCancers caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV)12-13 years (School year 8)
MenACWYFour strains of the meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W and Y) that cause meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia)13-14 years (School year 9)
Flu (Children)Seasonal influenza viruses and associated health harms (e.g. pneumonia)2 – 18 years (if not receiving at school, contact Child Health team to arrange)
Flu (adults)Seasonal influenza viruses and associated health harms (e.g. pneumonia)Any who wish to partake (contact your G.P)
Hep B (adults)Hepatitis BOccupational vaccinations, those at high risk etc. are provided by special arrangement
ZostavaxShingles virus (also called Herpes Zoster)70+ years

For more information, contact the Child Health team or speak with your G.P or Nurse Practitioner [GHA Primary Care Centre Tel: 20052441]