Hello all.

Curious if anyone has had any issues with vaccinating their children due to the difference between the French and UK immunisation timescales?

We moved to France when our eldest daughter was two. She had had all of her vaccinations to the 13 month stage, which involved the three stage Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping cough and Meningitis jabs.

In the UK she would then have been due a fourth booster vaccine for this between the age of 3 and 5years. I have mentioned this on a number of occasions to our local doctor who is very adamant that this should be done at 6years, in line with the French system, and that there are no risks to her from insufficient immunisation.

However, when I took her to another doctor the other day, he was most concerned by this as he believes she not only is under immunised but, due to this, the booster shot at 6years old will not work. He therefore prescribed for a two stage re-immunisation process which involves one jab and then a break of one month before the 2nd. He says that this is the correct resolution and is often carried out in France as many parents forget to get their children vaccinated correctly (here they do not have the same written reminder service we do with the NHS - you just have to remember!)

Do any of you out there have any experience or advice on what i should do?


I've pulled this together from my French Carnet de Sante & UK Red Book: - the vaccines have different combinations - UK gives Men C as part of 3m, 4m & 12m routine vaccines whereas ours was given at 2 years (Meningitec). We were given both BCG & Hep B routinely as we travel and the incidence in the UK particularly London is rising. MMR timing is different too as well as boosters! If anyone wants this emailed please pm your email address

We have had to get our nine year old 're-aligned' but if the doctor works it out then there is a margin for manouevre in each system. I have done some non-medical work on immunisation programmes for the WHO and know very well that the difference between six months late and six months early to gain back a year is not really problematic. So five and a half seems reasonable. However, a two step catch up is common in many countries where children have not been on time for scheduled vaccinations.

As for remembering. Hohum. The child health book is supposed to do that, as too the UK red book is also supposed to. The idea is to take a look before new school years, any kind of new sporting activity that requires the works and various other things. However, to be objective I think child health is delivered far better here than in the UK to begin with so basically follow what seems like the most sound advice.