What is the Vaccine Knowledge Project?

The Vaccine Knowledge Project aims to be a source of independent information about vaccines and infectious diseases. We provide clear information on complex topics and back it up with references to high-quality research. All our content is aimed at the general public and designed to help people make informed decisions about vaccine issues. The content is also suitable for healthcare professionals such as health visitors, school nurses, general practitioners and paediatricians.

The Vaccine Knowledge Project is managed by Oxford Vaccine Group , an academic research group in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Oxford. The site is updated regularly to make sure it is as accurate as possible, and overseen by academic staff at the cutting edge of vaccine research. All medical content is reviewed by Professor Andrew Pollard , Director of Oxford Vaccine Group.

The project is independent of the NHS and UK Government, and does not receive funding from pharmaceutical companies. Professor Pollard is currently chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) , an independent statutory body that advises the UK Department of Health on vaccination issues.

The project receives funding from the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford.

Since July 2016 the Vaccine Knowledge Project has been a member of the World Health Organization's Vaccine Safety Net . This means that this website has been judged to meet the World Health Organization's criteria for providing good quality information about vaccine safety issues.

What's topical on the Vaccine Knowledge website?

Nasal flu vaccine for children

From Autumn 2016, the nasal flu vaccine will be offered to all children aged 2, 3 or 4, and all those in school years 1, 2 and 3. It prevents around 60% of flu cases, and also helps to protect others in the community.


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MenACWY vaccine

Since summer 2015 this vaccine has been given to teenagers and new university students in the UK. It protects against four types of meningococcal disease, which is a major cause of meningitis and septicaemia.


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Flu vaccine in pregnancy

Catching flu in pregnancy can lead to increased risks for both pregnant woman and their babies (including an increased risk of premature birth). Vaccination against flu reduces these risks.


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Other popular pages

Vaccine ingredients

Information about the ingredients in vaccines used routinely in the UK (active ingredients, added ingredients and products used in vaccine manufacture).



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The whooping cough vaccine in pregnancy

In the UK, all pregnant women are offered the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine to help protect their newborn babies against this serious disease.


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The BCG vaccine

The BCG vaccine protects against severe tuberculosis (TB) disease. At the moment there is a worldwide shortage of this vaccine.


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Herd immunity

When a high percentage of the population is vaccinated, it is difficult for infectious disease to spread because there are not many people who can be infected. This is called ‘herd immunity’ and it gives protection to vulnerable people in the community.

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5-in-1 vaccine

This vaccine protects against five serious diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio and Hib disease.



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MMR vaccine

This vaccine gives protection against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles), all of which can cause serious disease.



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