Myth busters

Some vaccines require multiple doses to allow the body to learn how to fight the disease or virus. An in-depth look at this process is available here.

Each vaccination is developed specifically to combat a particular disease or virus. Some vaccination courses may be shorter or longer than others. Although one vaccine will offer some protection, the only way to become fully protected is by completing the full course.

It is important to make sure the information you read about vaccines is evidence based. Read more about looking out for misinformation and finding reliable sources here.

There have been multiple studies undertaken to investigate the MMR vaccine and autism. There is no evidence of a link. The original study which suggested this has been discredited. Read more here.

HPV is linked to several cancers and related conditions. Evidence shows the vaccine helps protect from HPV related conditions. Despite being known as the ‘cervical cancer jab’ HPV can affect boys as well as girls. It has been offered to boys since 2019. Read more about HPV here.

All children are entitled to all vaccinations in the NHS vaccination schedule. Your local in-school vaccine provider will contact you to arrange your child’s vaccinations. If you think your child has missed a vaccination, contact their health visitor or GP (age depending) to arrange a catch up.

The full course of tetanus vaccines consists of 5 doses. This gives long-term protection from tetanus. If your tetanus vaccinations are not up to date, you may require a booster vaccine if an injury has broken your skin. Read more here.

Flu vaccines

The elderly and people with underlying health conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from flu. Getting vaccinated is the best protection to reduce your risk of severe illness from flu.

The flu virus changes each year which means the latest vaccine is needed each year to offer the best protection. Southern Hemisphere flu season informs our flu season. We use this to learn which virus is circulating and how best to protect our population.

Think of the vaccine like a seatbelt – it might not stop you getting into an accident, but it lowers the risk of severe injury. The flu vaccine reduces the likelihood of infection, and the likelihood of severe illness or death from infection.

Flu is caused by influenza viruses which circulate in all parts of the world. Anyone can get the flu. Different countries see higher levels of flu illness at different times of the year. In the UK, flu illness is highest over winter. This is why it is called a ‘winter bug’.

The flu vaccine is the best to way to protect yourself and those around you from flu. Getting the vaccine can help protect you and your family from getting flu. It also helps to protect your local community and the local NHS.

Each vaccine is to help prepare your immune response to fight infection. Think of each vaccine (or booster) as an extra layer – wearing your hat, gloves and scarf in the cold rather than just a t-shirt.

Clinician with arms folded

Unsure if you’re vaccinated?

If you are not sure if you have had all your vaccines submit an online request with your GP practice to ask. Your GP practice will identify missing vaccinations and schedule a catch-up if needed.