Several weeks back Mini AG got a cold and I went to my pediatrician to have her checked out. My pediatrician offers in-home visits and we’ve had a few but I didn’t want to wait for Mini AG to get worse before she got looked at so booked an appointment at their office. When he looked at her vaccine record (aka “jabs”), he was shocked to hear that I hadn’t gotten her the chicken pox shot yet.
I was equally surprised. My GP specifically told me that they didn’t give chicken pox shots here, and my pediatrician in the US was planning on giving her the shot when we were home next.
Upon leaving the office, Husband said, “You should do a post on this! It’s really confusing!”
So here are the differences that I have encountered so far. Please feel free to add anything additional in the comments section. Sharing is caring!
USA: Hepatitis B shot at 4 weeks, 6 months and again at 10 months.
UK: Mentioned in the the “red book” but was never mentioned to me in person by anyone.
BCG (aka the TB vaccine):
USA: No shot, but tested in a skin-prick test.
UK: BCG shot given in the first year. (Optional).
** This is a controversial one. US doctors I have spoken to have advised against if you are ever planning on moving back to the USA. But UK doctors think it’s a must. Would be interested in your opinions on this one….
USA: Given at 1 year and 5 years.
UK: If you see a private pediatrician, you can get it here in the UK also.
There are some parents that are very strict about the US schedule, and some (like me) that have done a combination after speaking with the doctors……
I was born and always lived in the UK and have never been advised by my doctor to have a BCG, nor have any of my family/friends from the same area. I think it does depend in what county you live in, whether the doctor will advise you to have it or they may not even mention it.
Most non private GP's also will give the chicken pox vaccine. You just have to pay for it (approximately £60).
Amy O says
Chicken pox is a standard in USA as there is the very outside
chance it can be fatal. Statistical, in UK they
feel it does not merit a jab. Something to be aware
of as well is that Chicken Pox often needs a booster later in childhood and that is essential not to miss.
Perhaps more significant to me was the meningitis vaccines.
The UK has many more meningitis cases than
USA. It is not really on the worry list for US parents.
However consequences are substantially more dire than chicken pox. Kids living in UK should definitely get their Meningitis jabs. Generally I am not an alarmist but this was a big worry place for me as a mom of young kids in London. US parents should familiarize themselves with symptoms as it can present as a fever with a rash and quickly can escalate to a very dangerous illness.
Kristi F says
My American friend who has 3 kids (3, 7 and 9) and has had all of them here in the UK did not get the BCG because she thought it was overkill. And she absolutely regretted it as her nanny’s son got TB, so her whole family was at risk. There is TB in certain boroughs, including the borough of Camden where we both live, which is why the doctors suggest it in those boroughs. So I got the BCG jab for my 2 year old twins, but not my baby as I missed the window.
Hi! Do you have a comparison list of all other jabs like dtap and mmr?
Christy Osborne says
Hi Nancy. No I am sorry I do not, and I think this post may not be outdated. Best to check with your GP. x