The 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine is offered to children from the age of 3 years and 4 months to boost their protection against 4 different serious conditions:
When children should have the 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine
The 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine is routinely offered to children at the age of 3 years and 4 months old.
The vaccine further increases some of the protection your child already has from having the 6-in-1 vaccine at 8, 12 and 16 weeks old.
How the 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine is given
The 4-in-1 pre-school vaccine is injected into your child's upper arm.
The 4-in-1 pre-school booster can be given with other vaccines
It's safe for your child to have the 4-in-1 pre-school booster at the same time as other vaccines, such as the MMR vaccine.
When children have the 4-in-1 pre-school booster and the MMR vaccine at the same time, each vaccine will be injected into a different arm or into a different place on their arm if the same arm needs to be used.
Find out more about pre-school vaccinations for children aged 2 to 5 years on GOV.UK
Effectiveness of the 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine
Studies have shown that the 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine is very effective.
In clinical tests, more than 99 in every 100 children who had been given the 4-in-1 pre-school booster were protected against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and polio.
The vaccine protects children against these infections until they receive their 3-in-1 teenage booster at the age of 14.
The 4-in-1 pre-school booster not only protects your child against these infections, but also stops them passing the germs on to babies who are too young to be vaccinated against these infections.
Safety of the 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine
The 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine has been thoroughly tested to ensure it's safe and effective.
The vaccine is inactivated (killed), which means it does not contain any live bacteria or viruses.
It cannot cause any of the infections it protects against.
The brand name of the 4-in-1 pre-school booster is REPEVAX. It provides a good booster response.
Read the patient information leaflet for REPEVAX on the electronic medicines compendium website
Side effects of the 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine
Some children will have side effects after having the 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine. These are usually mild and do not last long.
They usually happen within 48 hours of the injection.
Most children will not have any problems at all.
Your child may get some redness, swelling or tenderness where the injection was given. This will disappear on its own.
Find out more about common side effects of vaccinations in babies and young children up to the age of 5 on GOV.UK
Find out more about the 4-in-1 pre-school booster side effects
Children who cannot have the 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine
Most children can have the 4-in-1 pre-school booster vaccine, but there are a few who should not have it.
This includes children who:
- have a high temperature at the time of the vaccination appointment – wait until they’ve recovered
- are allergic to the vaccine or who have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylactic reaction) to any part of the vaccine before
There's no need to postpone vaccination if your child has a minor illness, such as a cough or a cold with no temperature.
What if your child misses their 4-in-1 pre-school booster appointment
It's best for children to be vaccinated at the right age, as they're then protected against serious infections as early in life as possible.
But do not worry if your child missed having the 4-in-1 pre-school booster first time around. It's never too late to have it.
Make an appointment with your GP surgery or local child health clinic as soon as you can.
Page last reviewed: 27 June 2019
Next review due: 27 June 2022