Vaccinations give people immunity against dangerous diseases like whooping cough, measles and tuberculosis. Before vaccination, many people (especially children) who caught these diseases died or suffered permanent disability. Now almost nobody dies from serious diseases. This is because enough people have been vaccinated to stop the disease from spreading.
Vaccination is one of the greatest breakthroughs in medicine. No other medical intervention has done more to save lives and improve life - especially for children.
Vaccinations are quick and safe. There is a standard schedule of injections everyone takes, but some children may need more, for example if you have certain medical conditions that make it more dangerous for you to get certain illnesses.
If someone isn't vaccinated, they are at risk of catching serious illnesses and passing them on to others. If a group of people are not vaccinated, then there is a risk that the disease will become established, and cause serious damage. If you are not sure if you have had your vaccinations (for example, if you have come to the country recently, or if you think that you may have missed your vaccinations for another reason), then you can ask about being vaccinated - at any age. Talk to your GP, practice nurse, or school health nurse.
There's a recommended timetable for routine childhood vaccinations. This timetable has been timed to give all children and young people the best chance of developing protection against preventable diseases safely and effectively.
For more information on vaccination visit: NHS Choices Vaccination Schedule page