There is a lot to do when you move country and when you have children, there’s even more to think about.
One thing to be on top of is childhood vaccinations and how they differ from the country you’ve just come from. So it’s worth booking an appointment with your doctor to talk it through.
Before I spoke to my doctor, I read through both country’s vaccination programmes and worked out what differences there were. So to save you that job, here are the main differences between the British and Danish childhood vaccination programmes:
Rotavirus, Meningitis B and Meningitis C
Babies in Denmark don’t get a rotavirus vaccination at 2 months and 3 months, which prevents diarrhoea. They also don’t get meningitis B or C, which in the U.K is given at 2 months, 3 months, 4 months and 12 months.
When Sofia was born in Copenhagen, I requested the meningitis B and C vaccinations at my doctor’s surgery, as Lydia had them in England. It wasn’t cheap but my surgery were helpful in ordering the vaccinations to my local chemist, where I picked them up, paid for them and then took them to the nurse to give Sofia at the right intervals. It did feel a bit strange to have the responsibility of taking my baby’s vaccination to the doctors but it worked. She had the vaccinations later than if she’d been in the U.K. only because I’d booked it after she was three months old.
I also requested and was given for free, the whooping cough vaccination when I was pregnant. This isn’t currently offered in Denmark but instead given when your baby is 3 months old. My doctor said they were looking into giving it to pregnant women, which is why she let me have it for free. In the U.K. the whopping cough vaccine is given in late pregnancy (around 28 weeks), to protect the baby in the first few months of life.
In Denmark, children don’t get the flu jab as they do in the U.K. I did request this but it wasn’t possible at my doctor’s surgery.
Pre-school booster and MMR
In the U.K. this is all given at 3 years and 4 months. In Denmark, the MMR is given at 4 years and the pre-school booster given at 5 years. So I had to make sure Lydia had this as soon as we returned to England, before she started school.
Here is a list of the full vaccination programmes in both countries:
This is from my own research and experience between 2018-2020. You can find vaccination programmes online but always consult your doctor if in doubt about any differences and check your child is up to date.
Denmark childhood vaccinations:
3 months: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) + pneumococci
5 months: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) + pneumococci
12 months: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) + pneumococci
15 months: MMR: measles, mumps and rubella
4 years: MMR: measles, mumps and rubella
5 years: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio booster vaccination (known as the pre-school booster in the U.K.)
12 years: Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) – if the child did not previously receive two MMR vaccinations.
12 years (girls only): HPV (human papillomavirus vaccine)
18 years: Rubella (MMR)
U.K. childhood vaccinations:
I’ve highlighted the differences to Denmark in blue below.
2 months: Diphtheria, Tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough) Polio, Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) vaccine, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, rotavirus vaccine, Meningococcal B.
3 months: Diphtheria, Tetanus, acellular Pertussis (whopping cough), Polio, Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib), Meningococcal C and rotavirus.
4 months: Diphtheria, Tetanus, acellular Pertussis (whopping cough), Polio, Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Meningococcal B.
In Denmark, babies get their second Pneumococcal jab at 5 months and don’t get Men C and rotavirus.
12-13 months: Hib/Men C and Men B (Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) and Meningococcal C)
MMR (1st) and PVC (Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Meningococcal B)
2-7 years: influenza (not offered in DK)
3 years 4 months: DTaP/IPV or dTaP/IPV (Diphtheria or lose dose diphtheria, tetanus, acellular Pertussis, inactivated polio vaccine pre-school booster and MMR (2nd) (Measles, mumps, rubella) Children get this at 5 years old in DK but the MMR at 4 years old.
Around 12-13 years: HPV 2 doses (human papillomavirus vaccine)
Around 14 years: Men C booster
Around 13-18 years: Td/IPV (Low dose diphtheria, Tetanus, Inactivated Polio booster)
I hope this helps and good luck if you’re going through the never-ending admin of moving abroad or back home!