The above link gives you access to a checklist of the vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK for free on the NHS, and the age at which you should ideally have them.
Influenza – flu – is a highly infectious and potentially serious illness caused by influenza viruses. Each year the make-up of the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the influenza viruses that the World Health Organisation decide are most likely to be circulating in the coming winter.
Regular immunisation (vaccination) is given free of charge to the following at-risk people, to protect them from seasonal flu:
- people aged 65 or over
- children aged 2 - 11 (new from 2014)
- people with a serious medical condition
- people living in a residential or nursing home
- the main carers for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer becomes ill
- healthcare or social care professionals directly involved in patient care, and
- those who work in close contact with poultry, such as chickens.
Unlike the flu vaccine which is given every year, the pneumococcal vaccine is only usually given once. The Scottish Government provides pneumococcal immunisation for all people aged 65 years and over and GP's can administer it at their clinical discretion where patients have certain serious medical conditions.
It is recommended that all pregnant women should have the flu vaccine, whatever stage of pregnancy they're in. This is because there is good evidence that pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu, particularly from the H1N1 strain.
Studies have shown that the flu vaccine can be safely and effectively given during any trimester of pregnancy. The vaccine does not carry risks for either the mother or baby. In fact, studies have shown that mothers who have had the vaccine while pregnant pass some protection to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.
You can help protect your unborn baby from getting whooping cough in his or her first weeks of life by having the whooping cough vaccine while you are pregnant – even if you’ve been immunised before or have had whooping cough yourself.
Immunisation is recommended from weeks 28 to 38, with the ideal time being between weeks 28 and 32. This provides time for the mother’s body to make antibodies and for these to pass across the placenta to the unborn baby.
These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice