If a vaccine is given when a baby still has antibodies to the disease, the antibodies can stop the vaccine working. This is why routine childhood immunisations do not start until a baby is two months old, before the antibodies a baby gets from its mother have stopped working. This is also why it is important for parents to stick to the immunisation schedule, as a delay can leave a baby unprotected. A delay can increase the chance of adverse reactions to some vaccines, such as pertussis (whooping cough).

Click here for an up-to-date childhood vaccinations list/schedule

The NHS Choices website gives more information about immunisation and vaccination.

There are some excellent websites that will answer all your questions and queries about immunisation and vaccination. If you are worried about giving the MMR vaccine, there is more information if you click on this link.


Cervical screening is a method of preventing cervical cancer by detecting abnormal cells in the cervix (lower part of the womb).
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, but it is a test to check the health of the cervix. Most women’s test results show that everything is normal. But for one in 20 women, the test will show some changes in the cells of the cervix.
Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells will go back to normal on their own. In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be treated to prevent them becoming a problem later.

Useful Link – NHS Choices – Cervical Screen Test


The vaccination consists of two doses and both injections are needed to ensure patients  are fully protected against the virus. Girls given the HPV vaccine as part of the national vaccination programme receive a vaccine called Gardasil.

The schedule for Gardasil is as follows:

The first dose is given, usually in October of year 8 at school. The second dose is given no sooner than six months and no later than 24 months after the first dose. There is some variation within the schedule to give flexibility to school nurses administering the programme. Girls who began HPV vaccination before September 2014 receive three injections. The HPV vaccine is given as an injection into the muscle of the upper arm.

Human papilloma virus (HPV)

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name of a family of viruses that affect the skin and the moist membranes that line your body, such as those in your cervix, anus, mouth and throat. These membranes are called the mucosa. There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses, with about 40 types affecting the genital area. These are classed as high risk and low risk.

What HPV infection can do

Infection with some types of HPV can cause abnormal tissue growth and other changes to cells, which can lead to cervical cancer. Infection with other forms of HPV can also cause genital warts.
Other types of HPV infection can cause minor problems, such as common skin warts and verrucas.
Around 30 types of HPV are transmitted through sexual contact, including those that can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. Genital warts are the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK.

HPV infection is also linked to vaginal cancer and vulval cancer, although both are rare conditions.

Useful Links

NHS choices – HPV Vaccination 
Cancer Research UK – HPV Virus


Do you live in Derby? Livewell can help you be healthy for free. Livewell can help you lose weight, stop smoking, get fit and help children get to a healthy weight.

There are many different programmes you can join. Follow the Livewell link below to find out more about the eligibility criteria.

Useful Links


Both men and women need to look after their sexual health and take time to understand the issues that surround contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

For instance there are some STIs, like chlamydia, that you could be carrying without having any symptoms. This infection can affect fertility, so it’s important to make use of the sexual health services available for free on the NHS.

Useful Links

Sex and Young People

STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)

Sexual Health FAQs

Netdoctor – Sex & Relationships


Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, most commonly spread through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex.

75% of people infected with chlamydia don’t have any symptoms. However, testing and treatment are simple.

Useful Links

The National Chlamydia Screening Programme (under-25s) has more information on chlamydia.

NHS Choices – Focus on Chlamydia


Contraception is free for most people in the UK. With 15 methods to choose from, you’ll find one that suits you.

Contraceptive methods allow you to choose when and if you want to have a baby, but they don’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Condoms help to protect against STIs and pregnancy, so whatever other method of contraception you’re using to prevent pregnancy, use condoms as well to protect your and your partners health.

The methods of contraception

There are lots of methods to choose from, so don’t be put off if the first thing you use isn’t quite right for you; you can try another. You can read about each of the different methods of contraception by visiting these pages:

Combined pill


Contraceptive implant

Contraceptive injection

Contraceptive patch

Diaphragms and caps

Intrauterine device (IUD)

Intrauterine system (IUS)

Natural family planning

Progestogen-only pill

Vaginal ring

Travel Vaccinations

If you're planning to travel outside the UK, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world.


Non-NHS Services

Sometimes, GPs are asked to provide additional services which fall outside their NHS contract and in these circumstances, they are entitled to make a reasonable charge for providing them.