Information for the public

Vaccinations: protecting people from disease

Vaccines provide protection against many serious infectious diseases, for example pneumonia, meningitis and polio. They are given to all ages, from babies to older people. A range of different vaccines is available free for everyone in the UK, but not everyone chooses to have them. Vaccination rates vary depending on the type of vaccine, where people live and age. Some groups, such as asylum seekers, may find it harder to get vaccinations.

We want this guideline to make a difference to people who are eligible for routine NHS vaccinations by making sure they (and their families and carers):

  • can get the vaccinations they are eligible for, including people who don’t have a GP, and children and young people who don’t go to schools that give vaccinations
  • know when, where and how to get vaccines at a time and place that suits them, including at home if needed
  • can discuss any concerns they have about vaccinations with a healthcare professional
  • have, or know where to find, good quality, reliable information about vaccines.

Making decisions together

Decisions about healthcare, including vaccination, are best when they are made together. Your healthcare professional should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns.

If you need more support to understand the information you are given, tell your healthcare professional.

Read more about making decisions about your care.

Where can I find out more?

The NHS website has more information about vaccinations.

The organisations below can give you more advice and support.

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation provides information and support to families and professionals supporting individuals with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges. Although the website mentions resources to support COVID-19 vaccination, which is not covered in this guideline, many of the principles apply to vaccinations that are on the routine immunisation schedule.

NICE is not responsible for the content of these websites.

To share an experience of care you have received, contact your local Healthwatch.

We wrote this guideline with healthcare professionals and people who use healthcare services. All the decisions are based on the best research available.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-4588-7

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