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Adult immunisation

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The UK Immunisation Schedule for Adults (obviously assumes vaccinations given as a child).

The complete schedule is:




1. Where two or more injections are required at the same time, these should ideally be given in different limbs. Where this is not possible, injections in the same limb should be given at least 2.5cm apart.

2. Where injections can only be given in two limbs, it is recommended that the MMR, as the vaccine least likely to cause local reactions, is given in the same limb as the MenB with the PCV and Hib/MenC boosters given into the other limb.


  • Five doses of diphtheria, tetanus and polio vaccines at the appropriate interval should ensure long-term protection through adulthood (although additional doses may be indicated for travel or following potential exposure to the disease)
    • individuals who have not completed the five doses should have their remaining doses at the appropriate intervals
    • where there is an unclear history of vaccination, adults should be assumed to be unimmunised. A full course of diphtheria, tetanus and polio vaccine should be offered to individuals of any age in line with advice contained in The Green Book. It is never too late in life to start a course of vaccination (1)

  • Pregnant women should be offered a single 0.5 ml dose of dTaP/IPV vaccine (2)
    • vaccine should be offered to women in every pregnancy
    • vaccination should be offered between gestational weeks 16 and 32 to maximise the likelihood that the baby will be protected from birth. For operational reasons, vaccination is probably best offered on or after the foetal anomaly scan at around 20 weeks
    • women may still be immunised after week 32 of pregnancy but this may not offer as high a level of passive protection to the baby. Vaccination late in pregnancy may, however, directly protect the mother against disease and thereby just reduce the risk of exposure to her infant

  • Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine should be offered to all young adults who have not received two doses
    • in particular, vaccine status should be checked for all women of child bearing age who should be offered MMR to prevent rubella in pregnancy
    • in addition, up to the age of 25 years, MenACWY vaccine should be offered to individuals who have never received a MenCcontaining vaccine and HPV should be offered to unvaccinated females

  • Older adults (65 years and older) should routinely be offered a single dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine if they have not previously received it

  • Annual influenza vaccination should be offered from 65 years of age.

  • Adults aged 70 years, and older individuals who have become eligible since the start of the shingles programme in September 2013 remain eligible until their 80th birthday


  • The Green Book. Chapter 11 - The UK immunisation schedule (April 2019)
  • The Green Book. Chapter 24 - Pertussis (April 2019)
  • PHE Vaccine update schedule July 2020

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