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
Intradermal injection to right upper arm
Drops by mouth
6 weeks
Hepatitis B
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
Hepatitis B
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
14 weeks
Hepatitis B
Liquid by mouth
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
9 months
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
18 months
Intramuscular injection to the left arm
Intramuscular injection to the right arm
6 years (both boys and girls)
Intramuscular injection to the left arm
12 years (both boys and girls)
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.


Anonymous wrote 4 days 8 hours 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 3 days 9 hours ago

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

Nkagiseng wrote 6 days 9 hours 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 4 days 15 hours 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 1 week 4 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 1 week 9 hours 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 5 weeks 6 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 5 weeks 5 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 6 weeks 2 days 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 5 weeks 5 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.

Maja Policarpo wrote 7 weeks 3 days ago

Hi guys. My son will soon be getting his 6/8 week vaccinations. Because the private sectors' vaccines are so high (R1645 = 6 wk, R750 = 10 wk, R1855 = 14 wk!) I'd like to know whether the public vaccinations are exactly the same and of the same std as the private sector ones.

admin wrote 7 weeks 3 days ago

We have no reason to believe they are not the same vaccinations, but we do recommend that you ask a pharmacist, medical doctor or clinic sister.

Anonymous wrote 7 weeks 4 days ago

My daughter received her first vaccination at a private hospital. The problem is that it still looks sore because if you touch it he pulls away. Is it still supposed to be like that after five months?

admin wrote 7 weeks 3 days ago

We recommend that you seek medical advice.

Nandi wrote 9 weeks 1 day ago

I just wanted to find out if the vaccinations given at Clicks are as accurate as the clinic. Is there a reason he needs to go every six months at Clicks but not at the clinics?

admin wrote 9 weeks 7 hours ago

Hi Nandi. The schedule published above is recommended by the Department of Health and the frequency of vaccinations is something that they recommend. Please ask them directly if you are concerned about anything.

Anonymous wrote 9 weeks 6 days ago

My son will be 5 years old on 23 September. He has been staying with my mum as I was working far away. Now I'm back I can't find his card and I dont know if she has been taking him for yearly vaccines. Will the clinic help or do I need to go back to here he was born for a new card or I can get him vaccinated at Clicks?

admin wrote 9 weeks 6 days ago

If your child has been vaccinated, the baby clinic should have a record of it, so you can ask them. If you can't determine what vaccinations he has or has not been given, please ask the clinic to recommend what you should do.

Anonymous wrote 10 weeks 6 days ago

My son just turned 5 and received a drop in the mouth. Isn't there supposed to be an injection as well?

admin wrote 10 weeks 4 days ago

It all depends on what vaccine was given. There are some that are given orally and not by injection. See the schedule above. Please consult with your doctor or baby clinic if you are concerned.

Cordy wrote 12 weeks 6 days ago

I have lost my baby's clinic card. She had her vaccinations at private and public clinics. How and where do I get a new card and all the information?

admin wrote 12 weeks 5 days ago

Hi there. The respective clinics should have a record of your child's vaccinations, so we recommend you ask them for the necessary info.

Anonymous wrote 13 weeks 4 days ago

My son is turning 6 months old. We have been given an appointment by the clinic for a 6 month visit. His road to health book does not indicate any vaccines; in addition, we were not told what the visit would cover. Could you assist in indicating what would be done at this visit?

admin wrote 13 weeks 10 hours ago

If your child is up to date with his vaccines, the six-month visit may be for booster shots. But we are not in a position to inform you about the consultation; only your baby clinic can do so.

Mrs Jansen van Vuuren wrote 13 weeks 5 days ago

Since when does a clinic not ave the 3 in 1 for baby? My daughter has missed her 10 and 14 week shot because "they do not have". I am in the Free State, close to Gauteng border.

Mrs Van der Heever wrote 14 weeks 4 days ago

I am currently fostering a little boy who turns two on 30 September. He has been with me for two months. His parents have failed to bring his clinic card to the social worker. He has a mark on his arm, which is usually the mark seen from the BCG received at birth. Seeing as we have no record as to whether he has or has not had any other jabs, what should we do?

admin wrote 14 weeks 4 days ago

We recommend speaking to your family doctor or baby clinic about your concerns. They will be able to advise you about the best course of action.

Kha2 wrote 14 weeks 6 days ago

Is it advisable to mix child vaccinations from private clinics and public clinics? I took my child to a private clinic for her vaccinations when she was six weeks old. But now due to how expensive it is, I am thinking of taking my child to a government/public clinic. Is there any problem with mixing the two? Or is it the same vaccination, just from a different supplier? Please help.

admin wrote 14 weeks 5 days ago

You will get the same vaccinations at public clinics as you do at private ones. The only difference is that some optional vaccines are only available at private clinics.

Anonymous wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

I want to know when children are given the chickenpox vaccine?

admin wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

The chickenpox vaccine is optional, not mandatory. You will need to check with your baby clinic or with your doctor about what age it is recommended, if you want your child to receive the immunisation.

Anonymous wrote 19 weeks 4 days ago

I realise that the Department of Health immunisation card for my three year old is missing. Is there a way in which we can check what he is already vaccinated for and the subsequent immunisations that he still needs to do?

admin wrote 19 weeks 3 days ago

You will need to go back to the baby clinic(s) where your child had his vaccinations. They should have a record of what vaccnines have been given to date.

Anonymous wrote 19 weeks 6 days ago

My son was 18 months old when he got the measles vaccine. I want to know know if it is same as the MMR given at 15 months.

admin wrote 19 weeks 4 days ago

The MMR vaccine does cover measles (as well as mumps and rubella). However, we advise that you direct your health queries to a doctor or baby clinic to ensure that your child is properly vaccinated.

Mrs. Plaatjies wrote 23 weeks 3 days ago

My grandchild is now due for his 6 year vaccine. His mum passed away and we got hold of his clinic card. So I went to the clinic, but they could not trace all his vaccinations. Is it possible that he could have been given a vaccine e.g. 14 weeks but skipped the 10 week one? If he did get it and they give it to him again, what can happen?

admin wrote 23 weeks 3 days ago

Unfortunately, we don't have the medical facts to give you an answer to this question, so you will need to ask your clinic sister or a medical doctor for their advice.

erika wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

My son is 14 and was booked off for influenza till yesterday. Can he receive dt injection today?

admin wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

Please consult with a medical doctor for professional advice or ask a clinic sister qualified to answer your questions.

Anonymous wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

My son turned 12 years old in May. He has missed his booster for Polio 5 and DT 1 when he was six. Can I take him for a booster now and what vaccine can I give him? The school is also giving him the diphtheria vaccine this week as well.

admin wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

You should be able to catch up vaccines that you've missed, but it all depends on the vaccine. So we recommend that you enquire with a medical doctor or your baby clinic. The diphtheria vaccine is likely a booster, and recommended as there is a current outbreak of the disease.

Anonymous wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

My baby had his last vacs at 9 months and on his card the next one is at 12 months. When looking at most online charts they state 15 months.

admin wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

The schedule is as per the information above. However, this may be for a booster vaccination. Either way, we recommend that you follow the timeframe given to you by your baby clinic. 

Anonymous wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

My big boy is 8 years old and up to date with his vaccines and the small one is 21 months old, also up to date. I am wondering if I should take them to the clinic for the diphtheria vaccine drive in KZN.

admin wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

If this is a booster vaccine, it's probably a good idea. If in any doubt, please ask a medical doctor or clinic sister for their professional advice.

Angie wrote 25 weeks 4 days ago

My niece is 7 years old and has had the diphtheria injection at her school two days ago. I think it's the mop-up programe, as the government calls it. She has a fever and vomiting and the area is very painful. Should we be worried? Is this vacation dangerous at all? 

admin wrote 25 weeks 4 days ago

Redness around the area of the injection is not unusual. However, if you are at all concerned with your niece's health, which may be unrelated to the vaccination, we urge you to take her to a medical doctor. The vaccinations on the schedule are deemed safe, which is why they are recommended.

Anonymous wrote 26 weeks 16 hours ago

My daughter is doing her vaccinations according to the priviate schedule. The pharmacies in Richards Bay cannot seem to get the 9 month chickenpox vaccination. They say it's not available nationally. Is this true?

admin wrote 26 weeks 14 hours ago

Unfortunately, we don't know. Perhaps enquire at pharmacies outside your area or ask your medical doctor for advice.

Anonymous wrote 27 weeks 11 hours ago

My baby went for his 6 week vaccinations. I think he may have had a little reaction to the RV vaccine. The following day he started diarrhoea, stuffy nose, and non-stop crying and still is almost a week later! How long do the side effects last?

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