Babies to be offered new 'six in one' jab

The "five in one" vaccine offered to babies is to be replaced with a "six in one" immunisation for babies born from today. Picture: PA.
The "five in one" vaccine offered to babies is to be replaced with a "six in one" immunisation for babies born from today. Picture: PA.

The "five in one" vaccine offered to babies is to be replaced with a "six in one" immunisation for babies born from today.

Babies were offered the five in one jab - which protects against diphtheria, polio, tetanus, whooping cough and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

Public Health England (PHE) said that all babies born on or after August 1 are now to be offered the Hexavalent injection, which protects against the five childhood diseases as well as offering immunity against hepatitis B.

The vaccine is given three times as part of the childhood immunisation programme, when babies are eight weeks old, 12 weeks old and 16 weeks old.

PHE said the Hexavalent vaccine is already widely used with around 150 million doses having been given in 97 countries.

"Until today, only children at high risk of hepatitis B would be immunised," said PHE's head of immunisation Dr Mary Ramsay.

"The introduction of Hexavalent vaccine means that all children will now be routinely protected against this serious infection, which is a major cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer in later life.

"The Hexavalent vaccine has been extensively tested and shown to be safe and is widely used internationally with millions of doses being given around the world."