Overview

The 6-in-1 vaccine, also commonly known as the DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccine, helps protect your child against:

  • diphtheria
  • tetanus
  • pertussis (whooping cough)
  • polio
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • hepatitis B

Babies can catch these serious diseases from birth, it's important to protect them as soon as possible. The DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccine's usually given to babies at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.

Your child should also have:

What's diphtheria?

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. Before the diphtheria vaccine was introduced in the UK, there were up to 70,000 cases of diphtheria a year, causing around 5,000 deaths. 

What's tetanus?

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 that are 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's 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 one 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. Before the pertussis vaccine was introduced, on average 120,000 cases of whooping cough were reported each year in the UK.

More about whooping cough

What's polio?

Polio's a virus that attacks the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis of the muscles. If it affects the chest muscles or the brain, polio can kill.

Before the polio vaccine was introduced, there were as many as 8,000 cases of polio in the UK in epidemic years. Because of the continued success of the polio vaccination, there have been no cases of natural polio infection in the UK for over 20 years (the last case was in 1984).

More about polio

What's Hib?

Hib is an infection caused by haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria. It can lead to a number of major illnesses such as blood poisoning (septicaemia), pneumonia and meningitis. The illnesses caused by Hib can kill if they're not treated quickly. Before the Hib vaccine was introduced, there were about 800 cases of Hib in young children every year in the UK.

The Hib vaccine only protects your baby against the type of meningitis caused by the haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria – it doesn't protect against any other type of meningitis.

More about haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

What's hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B (HepB) is a virus that infects the liver. Many people with HepB infection have no symptoms and don’t know they're infected. Others have flu-like symptoms and yellowing of the skin (jaundice).

In children, HepB can persist for years and may eventually cause serious liver damage.

More about hepatitis B

The vaccine

The 6-in-1 vaccination (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccination) is given as an injection to babies usually at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.

What vaccine's used?

The Infanrix hexa, Powder and suspension for suspension for injection is routinely used in Scotland.

How effective is the DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccine?

Studies have shown that the DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccine's very effective in protecting your baby against these 6 serious diseases.

Further doses are needed to extend this protection as your child grows up.

How do we know the vaccine's safe?

All medicines (including vaccines) are tested for safety and effectiveness. The vaccine meets the high safety standards required for it to be used in the UK and other European countries. The vaccine has been given to millions of people worldwide.

Once they're in use, the safety of vaccines continues to be monitored.

Where and when to get it

Your baby will get the 6-in-1 vaccination (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccination) at your GP practice or health centre.

When's my baby going to be immunised?

Your baby will be offered the 6-in-1 vaccine at their 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age immunisations. Your local NHS Health Board will contact you to let you know about their arrangements for your baby's routine childhood immunisations.

Most GP practices and health centres run special immunisation baby clinics. If you can’t get to the clinic, contact the practice or health centre to make another appointment.

Improving how vaccines are offered in Scotland

To improve how vaccinations are offered to you or your child, you may notice:

  • you're invited to a new location to receive your immunisations instead of your GP practice
  • the health professional giving your immunisations changes

You'll still receive clear information about the location, date and time of your appointment.

After the vaccine

After having the vaccine there may be side effects, but these are usually mild.

Side effects

After the 6-in-1 vaccination (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccination), your baby might develop:

  • a mild fever
  • a small lump where your baby had the injection - this may last for a few weeks but will slowly disappear

It's normal for your baby to be upset for up to 48 hours after having the injection. If you think your baby has had any other reaction to the 6-in-1 vaccine and you're concerned about it, talk to your GP, practice nurse or health visitor.

If you're worried about your child, trust your instincts. Speak to your GP or phone the 111 service.

Phone your GP immediately if, at any time, your child has a temperature of 39°C or above, or has a fit. If your GP practice is closed, phone the 111 service.

Read more about the common side effects of immunisations that might occur in babies and young children up to 5 years of age.

Where can I report suspected side effects?

You can report suspected side effects of vaccines and medicines through the Yellow Card Scheme.

This can be done by:

  • visiting the Yellow Card Scheme website
  • phoning the free Yellow Card hotline on 0808 100 3352 (available Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 2.00pm)

Further information

If you’re unsure about anything, or have any questions about the 6-in-1 vaccine, phone:

Vaccine Safety Net Member

NHS inform is a proud member of the Vaccine Safety Net.

The Vaccine Safety Net is a global network of websites, evaluated by the World Health Organization, that provides reliable information on vaccine safety.

More about the Vaccine Safety Net

Further information

If you’re unsure about anything, or have any questions about the 6-in-1 vaccine, phone:

Immunisation leaflet

NHS Health Scotland have produced a leaflet explaining routine childhood immunisations in Scotland including the 6-in-1 vaccine, why it's offered and when it's given.

This leaflet's also available in Easy Read English and other languages - including Polish, Simplified Chinese and Urdu.

A guide to childhood immunisations up to 5 years of age

Audio leaflet