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

Nobantu wrote 4 days 23 hours 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 3 days 5 hours 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 1 week 2 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 6 days 2 hours 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 1 week 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 1 week 2 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 1 week 3 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 1 week 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 2 weeks 3 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 1 week 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 2 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 2 weeks 5 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 3 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 3 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 6 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 5 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 7 weeks 2 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 8 weeks 2 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 8 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 11 weeks 4 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 11 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 12 weeks 1 day 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 11 weeks 6 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 13 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 12 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 13 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 13 weeks 5 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 15 weeks 3 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 15 weeks 3 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 15 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.

admin wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

Please read our article about the importance of vaccinations: www.childmag.co.za/content/vaccinated-or-vulnerable

Kim Patrick wrote 16 weeks 3 days ago

Hi, I took my LB for his 9 month injection last week and was told they no longer do the measles and PCV7 similtaneously. Apparently there are some side-effects. Has anyone else heard about this? They've requested that I go back in a month to do his PCV7.

Anonymous wrote 16 weeks 4 days ago

I lost my son's clinic card and his birth certificate. I have moved to Johannesburg with him and he is due for an immunisation on the 8 January. How can I sort this out without going back to Durban?

admin wrote 16 weeks 3 days ago

You will need to contact the baby clinic where your son received the vaccinations, as they should have records. We're not sure if you can do this remotely.

Greg wrote 18 weeks 3 days ago

My son aged 5 recently recieved an injury to his head from a human mouth, yes a trampoline was involved. The wound was cleaned with savlon and septadine was applied. My question: I see that he is due for a tetanus booster at the age of 6. Do I need to take him for this shot sooner due to the injury?

admin wrote 16 weeks 4 days ago

If he has already had a tetanus shot he is most likely covered until the booster is required, but we advise that you seek proper professional advice rather than take our word for it.

Anonymous wrote 19 weeks 4 days ago

My son is 4 and is currently only missing his Hep A immunization. When we took him to the clinic they informed me that I needed a prescription for Hep A. Is that correct? We never needed for my daughter 3 years ago.

admin wrote 16 weeks 4 days ago

Hep B is on the schedule. We're not sure about Hep A, so all we can recommend is that you enquire with your family doctor.

Anonymous wrote 20 weeks 6 days ago

My son is 31 months old. The last immunization he had was when he was 24 months. The nurse said he must come again in 6 months. I see there is no immunization after 24 months until 6 years. Should I still take him?

admin wrote 20 weeks 5 days ago

It may be for a booster, so we recommend that you follow the advice of the clinic.

Anonymous wrote 22 weeks 2 days ago

My son just turned 24 months and I was under the impression that this would be the last visit for immunisation until he is 5 years old, but then the nurse said he should come again in 6 months. Should I take him again? This last time they didn't give him any shots, just vitamin A and something to de-worm.

admin wrote 22 weeks 1 day ago

This may be for a booster shot. We recommend that you discuss your concerns with the clinic.

Nkagiseng wrote 22 weeks 4 days ago

My son is 5 years 2 months old. He is asthmatic and he's been going in and out of hospital, so this made him miss some of his immunisations. Can he still get them (the ones he has missed)?

admin wrote 22 weeks 3 days ago

This is what Dr Claudia Gray has to say: “Yes you can. Vaccinations are generally safe across the age groups and postponing vaccines is generally not an issue. However, certain vaccines only carry a license for certain age groups, mainly because they were only studied in that age group or because the immune system responds in different ways at different ages, leading to different recommended vaccines at the various ages. Ask your clinic sister or doctor if the vaccine is still fine to give at your child's age. If not, there will certainly be a similar alternative providing the relevant vaccine cover.”

Anonymous wrote 23 weeks 3 days ago

Hi, my daughter is 7 now and last had an immunisation at 4 years old. I lost her card when we were moving out, and  ever since I have been turned back at the clinic. Now I don't know what to do.

admin wrote 22 weeks 5 days ago

The clinic(s) where your child had her immunisations should have a record to show what vaccines she has been given to date. If you know what immunisations she still needs to get, you should be able to request these at a baby clinic.

Anonymous wrote 27 weeks 4 days ago

My daughter just turned 7 months old and we were told to bring her in at 6 months, although there is no scheduled vaccine on her health chart for 6 months. Can I just take her to the clinic at 9 months to have her scheduled vaccine? What do they need to do at 6 months?

admin wrote 27 weeks 3 days ago

We're unsure about the reason the clinic requested a visit at six months -- perhaps for a booster injection. We can only advise that you consult with your clinic or doctor.

Ahmed wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

I took my baby for her 10-week vaccine and noticed that the clinic did not administer the HEP B1 and HEP B2 vaccines at 6 and 10 weeks respectively. Is this normal?

admin wrote 27 weeks 3 days ago

Hi Ahmed. The clinic should follow the schedule set out by the Department of Health, so we do recommend that you query this with your baby clinic.

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