Taking care of a child

Vaccination programme for children

Vaccinationsprogrammet för barn - engelska

All children in Sweden are offered vaccination against 12 diseases. This is done to protect the child from becoming seriously ill. These vaccinations are offered free of charge.

Läs texten på svenska här.

What diseases are children vaccinated against?

All children in Sweden are offered vaccination against the following diseases: 

  • diphtheria 
  • whooping cough 
  • tetanus
  • polio
  • Hib – haemophilus influenzae type b
  • pneumococcus
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella
  • rotavirus
  • hepatitis B
  • HPV – human papillomavirus.

Children often receive several vaccines in a single shot. 

Vaccines protect against serious diseases

Vaccines protect children from getting seriously ill with the listed diseases. 

The vaccine also prevents the diseases from spreading. 

Vaccines are safe medicines 

You are free to choose whether to have your child vaccinated or not. 

The healthcare system recommends that everyone do so.

Vaccines are safe medicines. 

When is the child vaccinated?

Children are vaccinated on a number of different occasions as they grow up.

The first vaccination is given at six weeks of age.

Children who have moved to Sweden from other countries

The vaccines children receive vary in different countries.

Children born outside of Sweden may need additional vaccines.

If you have any questions about your child's vaccinations, please contact one of the following:

  • children's health centre (barnavårdscentralen, BVC) 
  • school health service (elevhälsan) 
  • a healthcare centre (vårdcentral).

How can I prepare my child?

It is good if your child is well rested and has eaten before the vaccination.

However, a child who is going to be vaccinated against rotavirus should not eat beforehand.

If your child is worried

Some children may be afraid of needles or that it will hurt.

Tell the child that the vaccination will be quick. It may hurt a little, but it will pass quickly.

If your child is sick

Contact the BVC or the school health service if your child is going to be vaccinated, but is ill. You may need to reschedule the appointment. 

How does the vaccination work?

Children up to the age of five are vaccinated at the BVC. 

Children who have started school receive the vaccine via the school health service. 

The child is given a shot

Children under the age of one are given the shot in their thigh.

Children over the age of one are given the shot in their upper arm.

The rotavirus vaccine is given in the mouth

The vaccine against rotavirus is in the form of drops.

Children are given this vaccine in the mouth.

The liquid has a sweet taste. 

How will my child feel afterwards?

There may be some pain at the site where your child received the shot.

It is common for a child to feel a little sick after getting vaccinated. For example, the child may get a fever. This usually passes fairly quickly.

After the rotavirus vaccination, your child may feel sick and have a stomachache. 

When and where should I seek medical care?

Most people who have been vaccinated do not need to seek medical care.  

If you have any questions or concerns, contact the clinic where your child received the vaccination.  

Call the 1177 helpline if you need advice on what to do. Your call will be answered by a nurse. The nurse can speak both Swedish and English. Help is sometimes available in other languages. Call +46 771 11 77 00 if you are calling from a phone with a foreign number.

If urgent care is needed

If your child has a lot of stomach pain, contact a healthcare provider immediately. Contact one of these clinics:

  • a healthcare centre (vårdcentral)
  • an out-of-hours service. 

If they are closed, seek care at an emergency department.

Call 112 if your child becomes completely limp.

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