The 6-in-1 vaccine, also commonly known as the DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccine, helps protect your child against:
- pertussis (whooping cough)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- hepatitis B
Diphtheria is a serious disease that usually begins with a sore throat and can quickly cause breathing problems.
It can damage the heart and nervous system and, in severe cases, can kill. Before the diphtheria vaccine was introduced in the UK, there were up to 70,000 cases of diphtheria a year, causing around 5,000 deaths.
Tetanus is a disease affecting the nervous system that can lead to muscle spasms, cause breathing problems and even kill. It's caused when germs that are found in soil and manure get into the body through open cuts or burns.
Tetanus can't be passed from person to person.
More about tetanus
What's pertussis (whooping cough)?
Whooping cough is a disease that can cause long bouts of coughing and choking, making it hard to breathe. Whooping cough can last for up to 10 weeks.
Babies under one year of age are most at risk from whooping cough. For these babies, the disease is very serious and can kill. It's not usually as serious in older children. Before the pertussis vaccine was introduced, on average 120,000 cases of whooping cough were reported each year in the UK.
More about whooping cough
Polio is a virus that attacks the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis of the muscles. If it affects the chest muscles or the brain, polio can kill.
Before the polio vaccine was introduced, there were as many as 8,000 cases in the UK during the polio epidemic. Because of the continued success of the polio vaccination, there have been no cases of paralytic polio in the UK for nearly 40 years (the last case was in 1984). Polio remains a threat with poliovirus traces found in London sewage in early 2022.
Being fully vaccinated is the best way to protect against becoming ill from polio. It's important to make sure you and your child are up to date with your vaccines.
More about polio
Hib is an infection caused by haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria. It can lead to a number of major illnesses such as blood poisoning (septicaemia), pneumonia and meningitis. The illnesses caused by Hib can kill if they're not treated quickly. Before the Hib vaccine was introduced, there were about 800 cases of Hib in young children every year in the UK.
The Hib vaccine only protects your baby against the type of meningitis caused by the haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria – it doesn't protect against any other type of meningitis.
More about haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
What's hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B (HepB) is a virus that infects the liver. Many people with HepB infection have no symptoms and don’t know they're infected. Others have flu-like symptoms and yellowing of the skin (jaundice).
In children, HepB can persist for years and may eventually cause serious liver damage.
More about hepatitis B
Why should my baby be vaccinated?
Babies can catch these serious diseases from birth, so it's important to protect them as soon as possible.
When will my baby be immunised?
All babies are eligible for the vaccine free on the NHS.
Your baby will be offered the 6-in-1 vaccine around 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. Your local health board will contact you to let you know about their arrangements for your baby's routine childhood immunisations.
Most health boards run special immunisation baby clinics. If you can’t get to the clinic, contact your local health board to make another appointment.
Find out how to contact your health board regarding your vaccination appointment