Which vaccinations are free?

Some vaccinations are provided free on the NHS, but you will have to pay for others.

Childhood vaccinations

All your child's routine vaccinations are free of charge. This includes all vaccines recommended from birth to the age of 18. For more information, see Reasons to have your child vaccinated.

Seasonal flu vaccine

The seasonal flu vaccine is offered free of charge to people with an increased risk of serious complications from flu. Read more information about who should have the seasonal flu vaccine, including a list of medical conditions that put you at higher risk from flu.

Pneumococcal vaccine

The pneumococcal vaccine is offered free as part of the routine childhood immunisation schdule, and to people at higher risk of developing a serious health condition from a pneumococcal infection, such as those over 65 or in a clinical risk group. This vaccine (PCV) protects against bacterial infections such as:

  • pneumonia (inflammation or infection of the lungs)
  • septicaemia (a form of blood poisoning from an infection in the blood)
  • meningitis (infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord)

Hepatitis B vaccine

The hepatitis B vaccine is usually given free of charge to people in high-risk groups for hepatitis B. However, your GP is not obliged to give the hepatitis B jab free if:

  • they think you're not at risk
  • you need the jab because of your job

Some employers may have arrangements with a GP or other healthcare service to provide the vaccine free for their employees.

If you need the hepatitis B jab because you're travelling abroad, you will have to pay for it.

Read more about the causes of hepatitis B.

Chickenpox vaccine

The chickenpox (varicella) vaccine is provided free on the NHS only where there is a clinical need for it. It is recommended for:

  • people with no previous history of chickenpox who are likely to come into close contact with someone who has a weakened immune system
  • healthcare workers with no previous history of chickenpox

Read more information about who should have the varicella vaccine.

Travel vaccinations

Some travel vaccines are free, but you will have to pay for others. If you need any travel jabs, ideally you should have them at least eight weeks before you travel.

For more information, see Which travel vaccinations are free?

Read the answers to more questions about vaccinations.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 19/09/2012

Next review due: 18/09/2014