Important information about correct timing of childhood immunisations

Public Health England have yesterday circulated the following information via NHS England to forward to all healthcare professionals, and we would like to draw your attention to this to ensure you are able to give appropriate advice, if asked.

Dear Colleague,

It has come our attention that an increasing number of practitioners are getting requests from parents to administer their child’s vaccinations separately (to split grouped vaccinations), and therefore deviate from the national routine immunisation schedule.  The impact of this practice is starting to reflect in a reduction in childhood immunisation uptake (based on COVER return), and such actions can leave children vulnerable to disease.

The World Health Organisation published the following statement in relation to any potential concerns about giving multiple vaccines simultaneously  (

‘A number of studies and reviews have been conducted to examine the effects of giving various combinations of vaccines simultaneously. These studies have shown that the recommended vaccines are as effective in combination as they are individually, and that such combinations carry no greater risk for adverse side effects.’

NHSE and PHE strongly advise that practitioners who immunise adhere to the national routine immunisation schedule. We appreciate that this may create the need for difficult conversations with parents in order to reassure them, but it is paramount that children are given their vaccinations in a timely way. Please find attached rationale to remind practitioners about the correct process and reasoning behind the routine immunisation schedule.

It is important that the attached document is shared with all relevant personnel; those who immunise and those that arrange immunisation appointments.

A copy of the letter which has been circulated can be downloaded below.

The Importance of The Correct Timing of Immunisations_