Vaccination works by helping the body’s defence systems to develop antibodies so that it is protected from potentially dangerous infectious diseases. Vaccination has been a key public health weapon over the years and has successfully eradicated diseases in the UK such as smallpox and polio.

The NHS childhood vaccination programme is intended to protect all children in the UK against diseases such as polio, diptheria, whooping cough, meningitis and measles. Adults and children in certain at-risk groups may be offered additional vaccinations. They may also need to be vaccinated when they travel abroad to certain regions.

This topic covers the ordering, storage and administration of vaccines, including the UK Covid-19 coronavirus vaccination programme. Related information about flu is provided in the Influenza topic.

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