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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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

Anonymous wrote 4 days 22 hours ago

Hello, I took my child for her 18 month immunisation and they injected her on her right arm then we were give another date to come back for the other arm . But when I got there, the doctor that injected her in our first appoinment was not there and another doctor injected her on both legs. Will that have an effect on my child, should I be worried? I only realised that when I got home and was reading her card. Thanks

Tamlyn wrote 4 days 19 hours ago

You would need to address any medical concerns to your doctor or baby clinic. 

Anonymous wrote 1 week 1 day ago

Hi. My son didnt get his bcg vac at birth, because the hospital didnt have stock... They only received stock this month. I took my son for his injection on Wednesay - he is almost 15 weeks.

Are there any side affects to the injection as he is not himself in many ways, struggling to drink and puking a lot, but he doesn't have a fever or any weird symptoms  

Tamlyn wrote 6 days 21 hours ago

We would suggest that you speak with your doctor or the nurse at your baby clinic about any possible complications or side effects. 

Anonymous wrote 1 week 5 days ago

Which immunisation is given at 10 weeks? Because I went to the clinic today and they gave my child one injection on the left thigh.

Tamlyn wrote 1 week 4 days ago

Please speak to your clinic or nurse about which vaccinations your child needs at 10 weeks. 

Anonymous wrote 2 weeks 2 days ago

My twins had their 14 weeks vaccine and the next day one of them got small pinpoint bumps on his legs and one on his arm, the skin around each bump is red which I think itches him but doesn't cause him pain because he doesn't cry.

Tamlyn wrote 2 weeks 2 days ago

We would suggest that you speak to your doctor or the nurse at your local baby clinic. 

sham wrote 2 weeks 4 days ago

Hi. I took my baby for the 9 months injection and was given 1 on the right thigh and after a month I took her again for another one on left thigh. After a day she started vomiting and having diarrhoea and refusing to eat and it has been 4 days now; every time I breastfeed or give her some water she throws up. Is it normal or I should go back to the clinic?

Tamlyn wrote 2 weeks 3 days ago

We would suggest that you either go and see a doctor or go back to the clinic. 

Gisela wrote 2 weeks 4 days ago

Please watch Silent Epidemic: The Untold Story of Vaccines. I read the article you recommended, Vaccinated or vulnerable, and the facts are far from verified. I am not anti-immunisation, but we should all be more informed on the matter. 

Tamlyn wrote 2 weeks 3 days ago

We agree that this issue of immunisation is a complex one. Please look out for our follow-up article in our October issue.

Anonymous wrote 2 weeks 6 days ago

Good day

When will the vaccinations be available?

How could the Department of Health be so behind on it?

 

Tamlyn wrote 2 weeks 5 days ago

You would need to speak with your local family planning clinic about when vaccinations will be available.

Anonymous wrote 3 weeks 6 days ago

My youngest boy turned 7 in December, and I have just realised that I did not take him for his 6 year injection (TD). He has been suffering with terrible ongoing diarrhoea (under control and treated by my doctor). I would like to know if the fact that he has not had his injection could be the cause of this?

Tamlyn wrote 3 weeks 5 days ago

We aren't aware of delayed vaccinations causing any such symptoms. We suggest that you speak to your doctor about this and about catching up on any missed innoculations. 

Asanda wrote 6 weeks 5 days ago

My baby missed his 6 months Vitamin A supplementation. He is now 7 months and 2 weeks old. Is it too late to take him to the clinic for his Vitamin A supplementation? 

Tamlyn wrote 6 weeks 4 days ago

It would be best for you to speak to someone at your local clinic.

Luchae Williams wrote 7 weeks 5 days ago

Hi there, my daughter is scheduled to go for her 18 month injections on the 10th of May but I am unable to go on that day. Will the clinic allow the vaccination to be given a week before the scheduled date? 

Tamlyn wrote 7 weeks 5 days ago

You would need to confirm this with your clinic. 

Nobantu wrote 8 weeks 5 days ago

Hi everyone. My child recently turned 1 years old and she went to the clinic for her 12 month visit which as far as the book shows, is for Vitamin A and deworming. But instead my baby was given the vaccination that is supposed to be administered when she is 18 months. Please advise if this is normal practise or should I be worried?

Tamlyn wrote 8 weeks 3 days ago

According to the above schedule, there are no vaccinations required at 12 months. Please speak with your local clinic about your child's vaccination schedule.

Anonymous wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

Hi, I lost my children's immunization cards a while back. How do I get hold of the history of vacinnes received and do I need to get new cards? 

Tamlyn wrote 8 weeks 6 days ago

The clinic where your children received their immunizations should have a record of these. You can also speak to them about getting new cards. 

Angel wars wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

Hi, my 4 year old and 2 year old have not had chicken pox vaccinations because there is no stock. What do I do? Is there a time frame in which they need to have it? Also, there is a new meningitis vaccine out that costs about R850. Is it necessary to give?

Tamlyn wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

Please speak to your local clinic or paediatrician about your concerns. 

Anonymous wrote 9 weeks 4 days ago

Hello ... I took my LB to the clinic for his 9 months shots but he was unable to get his measels shot as he is allergic to eggs and the government clinic can not give it to him. The nurse suggested I go to a paediatrician and I found one, but she says she doesn't give the shot and I should try Dischem. I just want to know if dischem has the shot because I went to Clicks and they told me to go to a private hospital as he is allergic to eggs and might have a severe reaction to it.

Tamlyn wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

You would need to contact Dischem directly to find out if they are able to assist. You can also try contacting a private or antenatal clinic - they may be able to advise you on possible alternatives. 

Anonymous wrote 10 weeks 21 hours ago

My daughter is about 24 weeks pregnant and has just learned that a playmate of her 19 month old son has German measles. We cannot recall if she, our daughter, had an MMR vaccination as a child. She was born in 1972. Was it standard practice at that time to give all babies this vaccination at clinics in SA - Randburg in our case? How can we check this?

Tamlyn wrote 9 weeks 6 days ago

We would suggest that you contact the National Institute for Communicable Diseases: 011 386 6000 or nicdmail@nicd.ac.za. They should be able to answer your questions about vaccinations. 

Anonymous wrote 10 weeks 6 days ago

My daughter is 5 turning 6 this year and hasn't been vaccinated since her injection after birth. Her father and I split up and he had her clinic card and hasn't been taking her for her injections. What do I do as all the schools require the clinic cards?

Tamlyn wrote 10 weeks 6 days ago

Please speak to your local clinic or doctor - they may be able to advise you about catching up on the vaccinations. 

Tasha wrote 11 weeks 4 days ago

Please let me know whether there is a nationwide shortage of the immunisation for Diphtheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertussis. My baby is 3 months old and they say it would possibly take 2 - 3 weeks before there is stock again. And then in a month's time she requires yet another one of these for her 10 weeks injection.

Tamlyn wrote 11 weeks 4 days ago

You would need to confirm this with your local clinic or hospital. If there is a shortage, they may be able to offer you an alternative vaccination. 

Anonymous wrote 14 weeks 3 days ago

Hi. I have a 1 month old baby and there is no sign of injection on her right arm - the BCG one that is given after birth. Now I don't know whether she was injected or not. Is my baby at risk if she was not injected? I'm worried.

Tamlyn wrote 13 weeks 5 days ago

We suggest that you check your immunisation card, or go back to the clinic or hospital to make sure. They would be able to advise you going forward.

Progress Health Immunization wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

I am an office administration student and my team and I are presenting on immunization and the need for follow up and accessibility globally. Some of the areas of our focus are the challenges that the WHO faces with regards to shortage of accurate information about immunization. I noticed that there has been some very contsructive questions asked by other contributors. Agreeably, a lot needs to be done to close the gap on immunization. April 24-30 2016 marks World Immunization Week. We aim to bring light to the impact of global migration and how it impacts on immunization.   

Anonymous wrote 16 weeks 3 days ago

I took my baby to the clinic for her 10 week's vaccine and she was given only one shot and no oral polio vaccine. How many Injections is my baby supposed to receive at ten weeks, and is she supposed to be given oral polio vaccine? 

Tamlyn wrote 16 weeks 2 days ago

According to the above schedule, there are two vaccines at 10 weeks, both of which are injections. The polio vaccine forms part of the DTP-IPV/Hib. However, if you are uncertain about which vaccines she was given, or still needs, it's best to speak to your baby clinic. 

Faathima wrote 19 weeks 5 days ago

Hello...

I have a daughter who is one year and one month old. All her injections are up to date except the 9 months, for which I haven't taken her to the clinic as yet. All her injections have been done through the government clinics. I would like to know if I can still give her the 9 months injections or is it too late....if it's too late can you please advise me going forward.

Thanks

 

Tamlyn wrote 19 weeks 4 days ago

You should still be able to give her the vaccinations that she missed, but we suggest you speak to your family doctor or baby clinic about catching up on any immunisations that she still needs. 

Anonymous wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

My mother was diagnosed with whooping cough. My children have received all of their injections, but do the standard immunizations protect them against whooping cough?

Tamlyn wrote 19 weeks 6 days ago

Yes, the DTP-IPV/Hib vaccinates against pertussis (whooping cough).

Anonymous wrote 21 weeks 3 days ago

My son will be 24 months on the 10th of February. I started working recently and am scared to ask for an off day. Is there any public clinic that operates on Saturdays because I can't afford the private clinics? Please help,

admin wrote 20 weeks 6 days ago

You would need to ask your local clinic or pharmacy if they operate over weekends, or if they are able to direct you to a baby clinic that is open on a Saturday.

Anonymous wrote 21 weeks 6 days ago

Hi, I have immunised my child up until 5 months old but do not wish to do any further immunisations. Will my child still be alllowed in school without immunisations? Are there any that are compulsory?

admin wrote 21 weeks 6 days ago

The immunisation schedule above is what is strongly recommended. You are not forced to vaccinate, but it is in the best interests of your child and other children your child comes into contact with, especially those who cannot be vaccinated because of a medical condition. Many schools do insist that your child is vaccinated, so you will need to discuss your choice with the school. Please read this article on the topic: www.childmag.co.za/content/vaccinated-or-vulnerable

Anonymous wrote 23 weeks 4 days ago

Can I take the DTP-IPV-Hib-HBV vaccines while pregnant or does it have to be injected directly to the baby? I read somewhere that if you get it whilst pregnant then you don't need to when the baby is born as they have the vaccine (from the mother). I stand to be corrected. At least this would mean he will get his first injection at 9 months.

admin wrote 23 weeks 4 days ago

We really don't think the information you've been given is correct. And we strongly advise that you chat to your family doctor about all your medical queries.

Anonymous wrote 23 weeks 6 days ago

Has anybody watched the documentary called "The greater good"? It's the only documentary ever made with facts about vaccines in America. What are your thoughts? Should one vaccinate with risks or not vaccinate, also with risks? I know a lot of moms who's children are older that 11 and have never vaccinated, and they have had all the childhood sicknesses -- measles, mumps, chickenpox etc -- who recovered easily with no harsh side effects.

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