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6-in-1 vaccine overview

View original article on NHS Choices

The 6-in-1 vaccine is 1 of the first vaccines your baby will have.

It's given as a single injection to protect your baby against 6 serious childhood diseases:

When should babies have the 6-in-1 vaccine?

The 6-in-1 vaccine is given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks old.

Your baby needs 3 doses to make sure they develop strong immunity to the diseases the vaccine protects against.

Every time another dose of the vaccine is given, your baby's immune response increases.

How is the 6-in-1 vaccine given?

The vaccine is injected into your baby's thigh.

How well does the 6-in-1 vaccine work?

The 6-in-1 vaccine works well. It produces very good immunity to diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, Hib, polio and hepatitis B infections.

How safe is the 6-in-1 vaccine?

The 6-in-1 vaccine is very safe. It's killed (inactivated), which means it does not contain any live organisms, so there's no risk of your baby getting the diseases from the vaccine.

The vaccine also has few side effects. Although it's common for babies to be a little irritable after the injection, they may also have short-lived redness, swelling and a small bump at the injection site. 

The brand name of the 6-in-1 vaccine is Infanrix hexa (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB). Read the patient information leaflet (PIL) for Infanrix hexa.

Read more about 6-in-1 vaccine side effects.

Can the 6-in-1 vaccine be given at the same time as other vaccines?

It's 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, for example, those who:

  • are allergic to the vaccine
  • have a high temperature at the time of the vaccination appointment – wait until they have recovered
  • have signs of a neurological problem that is getting worse, including poorly controlled epilepsy – wait until they have been seen by a specialist

The vaccine should not be given to babies 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's 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 GP surgery, nurse or health visitor for advice.

What if I miss the 6-in-1 vaccination appointment?

It's 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 – it's never too late to have it. Make an appointment with your GP surgery or local child health clinic.

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