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Immunisation Schedule

South Africa’s immunisation schedule is in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendations of how children should be vaccinated
By Child Magazine

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Article

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) encourages vaccination against measles, polio, pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, tetanus and tuberculosis. The South African Department of Health’s immunisation schedule is in line with the WHO’s vaccination recommendations. Between two and three million deaths are prevented globally each year by effective immunisation.
 
Recommended immunisation schedule 
Age of child
Vaccine needed
How and where it is given
Birth
BCG
TOPV
Intradermal injection to right upper arm
Drops by mouth
6 weeks
TOPV
RV
DTP-IPV/Hib
Hepatitis B
PCV7
Drops by mouth
Liquid by mouth
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
10 weeks
DTP-IPV/Hib
Hepatitis B
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
14 weeks
RV
DTP-IPV/Hib
Hepatitis B
PCV7
Liquid by mouth
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
9 months
Measles
PCV7
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
18 months
DTP-IPV/Hib
Measles
Intramuscular injection to the left arm
Intramuscular injection to the right arm
6 years (both boys and girls)
Td
Intramuscular injection to the left arm
12 years (both boys and girls)
Td
Intramuscular injection to the left arm
Source: South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre 
 
BCG – Bacilli Calmete-Guerin (Anti-tuberculosis vaccine)
TOPV – Trivalent oral polio vaccine
DTP-IPV/Hib – diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccine, inactivated polio vaccine, Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine
Td – tetanus and diphtheria vaccine
RV - rotavirus vaccine
PCV7- 7-valent pneumococcal vaccine
 

These vaccinations are available at government clinics and from private sector health facilities, but at a cost. There are also additional vaccinations, such as the MMR vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, which should be done at 15 months and again as a booster at five years. Keep a record of your child’s vaccinations as schools may ask for proof of immunisation when you register.

Comments

Betty wrote 13 hours 54 min ago

I took my girl for her 14 week jabs and she has a fever and won't stop crying. What do I do?

admin wrote 1 hour 22 min ago

Hi Betty. If you can't get her fever down, we recommend you take her to a doctor. She very likely has an infection of sorts unrelated to the vaccination.

moniqueb wrote 1 week 4 days ago

I kinda lost my daughters clinic card in a box when we moved and discovered it a while back when I went through the boxes to clean out. She last had a 9 month injection; she is now 3 years old. Can someone advise if she can still have her other injections?

admin wrote 1 week 4 days ago

According to the schedule, you've only missed the 18 month vaccination. We recommend that you ask your doctor or baby clinic about catching up.

Thato wrote 1 week 5 days ago

My son was due for his repeat for measles and rubella at 15 months. I didn't take him in as he was teething and flu-ish. He's now 16 months old and I’m afraid I’ve left it too late. Some of the mothers I work with are telling me he might get severely ill from the vaccine since I left it too late! If the schedule says "at 15 months", how much leeway do I have?

admin wrote 1 week 5 days ago

Hi Thato. We don't think you're too late to get the vaccine, but we highly recommend that you discuss this with your baby clinic as soon as possible.

Santy wrote 2 weeks 21 hours ago

Please can anyone help me with a clinic or pharmacy in Weltrevredenpark that has government stock for immunizations; my baby is due for his first vaccines.

penny wrote 2 weeks 5 days ago

Hi, my baby is 5 weeks old today and she got the BCG vaccine at birth. I notice the area where she got her injection (upper right arm) has a big 'pimple' looking like bump and looks a bit yellow inside; almost like it could be puss. It doesn't look like she's bothered by this but I'd still like to find out if this is normal and until when can I expect the bump to be there? 

admin wrote 2 weeks 20 hours ago

Hi Penny. If you're concerned, you should consult with a doctor or clinic sister. Some redness at the site of the injection should be expected, but it should have gone if you say the vaccine was given weeks ago.

Anonymous wrote 3 weeks 23 hours ago

Please kindly advise. I took my six week old baby for immunisation today, my concern is that when one of the injections was being administered the syringe leaked. Is this immunisation valid?

admin wrote 3 weeks 18 hours ago

Hi there. We have no way of assessing this as it is a medical question. Please either consult with your baby clinic or doctor.

tshilidzi wrote 3 weeks 5 days ago

My 2 year old is up-to-date with his vaccines, but I'm concerned because he plays with a child who has never been to the clinic. What are this child's risks and is my son safe playing with him?

admin wrote 3 weeks 3 days ago

Hi Tshilidzi. We asked Rose Burnett, senior lecturer at the department of virology, University of Limpopo, for her expert opinion:

You are right to be concerned. Your child’s friend may be protected by herd immunity if all his friends and contacts are fully vaccinated like your son, but if not, then he is at high risk of contracting a vaccine-preventable disease. And contrary to popular belief, some of these diseases can cause severe illness and even be fatal. Also, although your toddler is up-to-date with his vaccines, no vaccine is 100% effective, so there is still a small risk that he can get infected if his friend is infected. Also bear in mind that if your toddler does get infected, the rest of your family is at risk, especially if you have a small infant who is too young to be vaccinated.

Anonymous wrote 4 weeks 2 days ago

Is Meningococcal conjugate-C optional? I can't find it in the schedule but maybe it's called something else? 

admin wrote 4 weeks 1 day ago

If it's not on the schedule, it's most likely optional. However, please consult with your family doctor to confirm whether or not your child needs this vaccine.

Anonymous wrote 6 weeks 2 days ago

I have recently taken over as a guardian of a 7 year old who has never been vaccinated. Is there a catch-up programme that can be followed or do I have to wait until the 12 year old vaccination?

admin wrote 6 weeks 22 hours ago

We're not sure about a catch-up programme for a child of this age, but we strongly recommend that you check with your nearest immunisation centre or doctor as the child is at high risk.

Anonymous wrote 8 weeks 19 hours ago

My daughter is 9 months old now. I just moved to Cape Town around two weeks ago from a foreign country. Which hospital/clinic should I take my child to for her vaccinations? Can you please send me the nearest child vaccination centre to the V&A Waterfront? Thanks in advance.

admin wrote 8 weeks 1 hour ago

Try Kids Clinic in Camps Bay: http://kidsclinic.co.za/

Anonymous wrote 9 weeks 2 hours ago

Hi there, my son just turned 4 years old recently and I used  to take him for immuisation after every 6 months. I want to know whether or not I should continue doing so or wait for the 6 years one?

admin wrote 8 weeks 6 days ago

According to the schedule, after his 14 weeks is his 9 months and then only again at 6 years. If he's up to date, you only need to take him again when he's six, unless you opt for vaccination not on the mandatory list.

Anonymous wrote 9 weeks 23 hours ago

I took my son for his 14 weeks immunisation today (30 June 2014) and at the clinic they scheduled his next appointment for 28 July 2014. Is this correct?

admin wrote 9 weeks 22 hours ago

According to the schedule, if he has received all this vaccines due at 14 weeks, his next lot should be at 9 months. We recommend querying this with another baby clinic or your doctor.

Nkele wrote 9 weeks 1 day ago

Took my six-week old to the pharmacy for immunisation and was told I have to pay over R1000 from my medical aid. Then went to the nearest clinic where the service is for free. My question is: why are they different?

admin wrote 9 weeks 22 hours ago

We think this has to do with government subsidy.

Anonymous wrote 9 weeks 1 day ago

For my daughter's 2, 3, 4 month vaccines she got the private dose. Due to unforseen circumstances I can no longer afford it. Is it possible to give her the government vaccines instead or do I have to stick to private?

admin wrote 9 weeks 22 hours ago

As far as we know, the vaccines administered are the same.

Anonymous wrote 9 weeks 4 days ago

We relocated to NZ in 2008 and I appear to have lost my son's clinic booklet with the proof of his vaccinations in the move. I was wondering whether there is any other actual record of vaccinations that he had in South Africa and if so, how I could go about getting my hands on these records? Thank you.

admin wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

The clinic that administered the vaccinations may have a record, so we suggest that you contact them.

Anonymous wrote 10 weeks 5 days ago

Hi there please advise what the vitamin A drops at 6 months are for and if it is like a vaccination or merely a supplement?

admin wrote 10 weeks 23 hours ago

Please note that anything not listed above is not a mandatory vaccination. Vitamins are generally given as supplements, not immunisation.

Neel wrote 11 weeks 4 days ago

Hi there, I am a south African female born in 1986. Would it be possible to find out what the immunisation schedule was like back then and what immunisations I am likely to have received as a child? I recall having injections in primary school and obviously I would have had them as a baby. Sadly my mother passed away and she was the only person who could answer my question. Any help would be sincerely appreciated.

admin wrote 11 weeks 3 days ago

Your best option is to enquire with the department of health.

jolene wrote 11 weeks 6 days ago

Can I still take my babe for his 18 mnths immunisation? He is 24 mnths now.

admin wrote 11 weeks 3 days ago

Yes, you should still be able to, but we recommend that you consult with your baby clinic as soon as possible.

Charl wrote 12 weeks 5 days ago

Hi, my son is 9 months old and he got the measles and pneumococcal vaccine today. He has a cold and a cough and I want to find out if the immunisation he got will in any way make the cold and cough more resistant. Or if it's safe for him to continue with his medication. Thank you so much.

admin wrote 12 weeks 5 days ago

Hi Charl. You really need a professional's medical advice to answer such questions. Please consult with your child's paediatrician. 

Jo-Anne wrote 16 weeks 20 hours ago

My daugther is 15 months old and am battling to locate a government clinic where there is stock of the chicken pox vaccine.  I am told that there has been no supply to the clinics by government. Do you know anything about this and if so, could you advise when this vaccine will become available?

admin wrote 16 weeks 1 hour ago

Hi Jo-Anne. Unfortunately, we have no knowledge of this and recommend that you contact the Department of Health.

Thandi wrote 17 weeks 23 hours ago

My baby went for his 9-month injection for measles and the sister said I must bring the child again when he's a year old. Is this necessary?

admin wrote 17 weeks 22 hours ago

Hi Thandi. According to the schedule, your child should have his next vaccination at 18 months.

Anonymous wrote 19 weeks 5 days ago

Currently we reside in Qatar and so far my one-year-old son has had all his shots here and is up to date. His next jab is scheduled for when he is 15 months old (we will be back home in South Africa then); from the schedule I don't see any vaccinations in South Africa at 15 months. Will he be able to get the necessary vaccinations in SA? Also, where do I apply to get a clinic card for him?

admin wrote 19 weeks 5 days ago

We recommend that you contact the Department for Health or your local baby clinic when back in South Africa.

Anonymous wrote 19 weeks 6 days ago

The last time I took my 29 month-old was when she just turned 2. When will the second visit be?

admin wrote 19 weeks 5 days ago

We recommend that you check with your baby clinic, as your card should say which vaccines your child has had. If your child had the 18 month vaccines, the next lot are only due at 6 years old.

Anonymous wrote 21 weeks 17 hours ago

I have a 13 week old baby girl whom l gave birth to in Zimbabwe. She has had her vaccinations up to 10 weeks in Zimbabwe. Soon she will be due for her 14 weeks schedule. I am now back in South Africa full time. My question is: can she continue her vaccinations in South Africa and are children vaccinated against the same diseases in these two countries?

admin wrote 20 weeks 6 days ago

We're not sure about the schedule in Zim, but it's very likely the same as SA. We recommend that you contact your nearest baby clinic and take your immunization card with you.

Rey wrote 21 weeks 6 days ago

Please advise which vacinations my child should get at 3 years, which will be on 08.04.2014

admin wrote 21 weeks 5 days ago

Hi Rey. According to the schedule, if your child has received the necessary vaccinations at 18 months, the next ones are only due at age 6.

Anonymous wrote 22 weeks 26 min ago

Hi there. My baby is one year old and missed out his 9 month's measle injections. Is it too late for him to get them now? Have sleepless nights over this!

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