Recommended codes for vaccinations

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Childhood vaccination coding can be unexpectedly complex there are just 26 pre-school and school age vaccinations, but practices can record these vaccinations using over 1,000 different codes.

Data export providers, Health Intelligence and Quality Medical Systems (QMS) have adopted a standard export for all possible vaccination codes. Phil Kirby from Health Intelligence says that for several reasons it would be better if practices could adopt and use a limited set of recommended codes. A recommended code document has been produced following consultation with NHS England, data export providers and with reference to national coding guidance. The document has also been future proofed for when SNOMED CT is adopted.

Phil Kirby tells us that the next stage is to develop a London-wide template for recording all vaccination data that makes use of only these recommended codes. By using the recommended codes, practices will support:

  • A clearer picture of which children have and have not been vaccinated
  • Ensure the correct payment for their vaccination work and
  • Assist the Child Health Information Services in reporting on this activity

At present, less than 45% of vaccination data recording is in line with the recommended codes. Work is now commencing on the new London-wide vaccination templates for each clinical system and completion expected by July 2018.

If any practice users wish to assist in the development and piloting of these new templates, they should contact Niki Bradley at

Last updated : 12 Apr 2018