The 4-in-1 vaccine, also known as the DTaP/IPV or dTaP/IPV vaccine, helps protect your child against:
- pertussis (whooping cough)
Diphtheria's a serious disease that usually begins with a sore throat and can quickly cause breathing problems. It can damage the heart and nervous system and, in severe cases, can kill.
Diphtheria germs are spread from person to person through close contact.
Tetanus is a disease affecting the nervous system that can lead to muscle spasms, cause breathing problems and even kill.
It's caused when germs found in soil and manure get into the body through open cuts or burns. Tetanus can't be passed from person to person.
More about tetanus
What's pertussis (whooping cough)?
Whooping cough is a disease that can cause long bouts of coughing and choking, making it hard to breathe. Whooping cough can last for up to 10 weeks.
Babies under a year of age are most at risk from whooping cough. For these babies, the disease is very serious and can kill. It's not usually as serious in older children.
Whooping cough germs can be spread from person to person through close contact.
More about whooping cough
Polio is a virus that attacks the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis of the muscles. If it affects the chest muscles or brain, polio can kill.
The polio virus is usually spread from person to person, or by swallowing contaminated food or water.
Before the polio vaccine was introduced, there were as many as 8,000 cases in the UK during the polio epidemic. Because of the continued success of the polio vaccination, there have been no cases of paralytic polio in the UK for nearly 40 years (the last case was in 1984). Polio remains a threat with poliovirus traces found in London sewage in early 2022.
Being fully vaccinated is the best way to protect against becoming ill from polio. It's important to make sure you and your child are up to date with your vaccines.
More about polio
Why should my child be vaccinated?
The vaccine boosts the immunisations that were given to your child at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age - boosting protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and polio.
Who is eligible for the vaccine?
This vaccine's offered to children aged over 3 years 4 months at the same time as they are offered the MMR vaccine. It's also used for a primary course of immunisation in children over 10 years old and adults.
When will my child be immunised?
Your child will be offered the 4-in-1 vaccine at around 3 years and 4 months. Your local health board will contact you to let you know about their arrangements for your child's routine childhood immunisations.
Most health boards run special immunisation clinics. If you can’t get to the clinic, contact your local health board to make another appointment.
Find out how to contact your health board regarding your child's vaccination appointment