Q: Is it safe for my child to have more than one vaccination at the same time?

A: Yes. Some parents worry that having several vaccinations on one day could overwhelm or weaken their child’s immune system. But children come across many viruses and bacteria every day through their normal playing, eating and drinking. Their immune systems are designed to cope with these exposures.

Compared to these day-to-day challenges, vaccines contain only a small number of antigens. An antigen is something that causes your immune system to make an ‘antibody’ that fights it. So even if your child has several vaccines at one time, their immune systems will not be overwhelmed or ‘used up’.

Children are given vaccines when they are young because this is when they are most vulnerable to certain infections. Newborn babies are immune to some infections because they have antibodies given to them from their mother. However, this immunity only lasts a few months and most young children won’t have any immunity to serious infections like whooping cough, polio and hepatitis B.

It is important that your child has all the recommended vaccinations at the recommended times to keep them safe from infections that can be serious, or even life threatening, in young children.