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6-in-1 vaccine overview

The 6-in-1 vaccine is 1 of the first vaccines your baby will have.

It's given as a single injection to protect your baby against 6 serious childhood conditions:

When babies should have the 6-in-1 vaccine

The 6-in-1 vaccine is given to babies when they're 8, 12 and 16 weeks old.

They need 3 doses to make sure they develop strong immunity to the conditions the vaccine protects against.

Every time another dose of the vaccine is given, your baby's immune response increases.

How the 6-in-1 vaccine is given

The 6-in-1 vaccine is injected into your baby's thigh.

How well the 6-in-1 vaccine works

The 6-in-1 vaccine works well.

It produces very good immunity to diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, Hib, polio and hepatitis B infections.

6-in-1 vaccine safety

The 6-in-1 vaccine is very safe.

It's killed (inactivated), which means it does not contain any live organisms, so there's no risk of your baby getting the conditions from the vaccine.

Side effects of the 6-in-1 vaccine

The 6-in-1 vaccine has few side effects.

Common reactions include:

  • pain, redness and swelling where the injection was given
  • high temperature (more common after the 2nd and 3rd doses)
  • being sick
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite

Unusual high-pitched crying and fits or seizures are rare side effects of the 6-in-1 vaccine.

Very rarely, a baby may have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after the 6-in-1 vaccine.

Find out more about 6-in-1 vaccine side effects

Types of 6-in-1 vaccine

There are 2 types of 6-in-1 vaccine used in the UK. You can find out more about them in the patient information leaflets:

The 6-in-1 vaccine and other vaccines

It's safe for your baby to have the 6-in-1 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines, such as the rotavirus vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine and MenB vaccine.

Babies who should not have the 6-in-1 infant vaccine

Most babies can have the 6-in-1 vaccine, but there are a few that should not, for example, those who:

  • are allergic to the vaccine
  • have a high temperature at the time of the vaccination appointment – wait until they've recovered
  • have a neurological problem that’s getting worse, including poorly controlled epilepsy – wait until they’ve been seen by a specialist

The 6-in-1 vaccine should not be given to babies who have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a previous dose of the vaccine, or a reaction to any part of the vaccine that may be present in trace amounts, such as neomycin, streptomycin or polymixin B.

There's no need to postpone vaccination if your baby has a minor illness, such as a cough or a cold with no temperature.

If your baby has a history of fits (febrile convulsions) or has had a fit within 72 hours of a previous dose of the vaccine, speak to your GP surgery, nurse or health visitor for advice.

If you miss the 6-in-1 vaccination appointment

It's best if your baby has the 6-in-1 vaccine at the recommended age so that they’re protected from serious conditions as early in life as possible.

If your baby has missed an appointment for the 6-in-1 vaccine, it's never too late to have it. Make an appointment at your GP surgery or local child health clinic.

Page last reviewed: 11 June 2019
Next review due: 11 June 2022