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 6 days 34 min ago

What is the vitamin A supplementation for exactly? Why do the babies need it?

Tamlyn wrote 4 days 23 hours ago

Unfortunately we're not qualified to address any medical queries. Please speak to your doctor or paediatrician.

CORNCENED MOTHER wrote 1 week 1 day ago

Hello, my daughter is three months old today and for some reason she never received polio drops at birth. So I was just wondering what are the chances of her getting sick, where can I possibly get these drops, and what will happen to her if she doesn't receive them at all?

Tamlyn wrote 1 week 18 hours ago

It would be best to speak to your doctor or baby clinic about your concerns and queries. 

Anonymous wrote 2 weeks 20 hours ago

Hi 

My daughter is 3 years & 10 months. Her last visit to the clinic was at 18 months. She stayed with my mom in Mpumalanga till now. She has never fallen sick or been taken to the clinic. They only gave her vermox for deworming once every six months at home. Now that she will be turning 4 years old, is there an immunisation that needs to be taken.The baby card shows that after 18 months the next is at 6 years.

Thanks 

Tamlyn wrote 1 week 5 days ago

According to the above schedule, immunizations are required at 18 months and then again at 6 years. But if you are uncertain of anything, you should speak to your local clinic or doctor. 

Anonymous wrote 2 weeks 6 days ago

I took my son for his 9 month check up. He ws supposed to take the vaccine for MMR but the midwife injected him with the 18 month vaccine; OPV and DT. Lucky I noticed something was wrong because of the reaction she had on her face. When can he take his 9 month vaccine? And what will happen when he is 18 months? Will he be revaccinated or not? Please help ... am so heart broken and I desperately need answers.

Tamlyn wrote 2 weeks 6 days ago

You would need to speak to the clinic or your doctor about your concerns and questions. 

Amandalee wrote 3 weeks 19 hours ago

I lost my son's immunisation card. He is due when he is 6 years old. How do I get a new one?

Tamlyn wrote 3 weeks 17 hours ago

You will need to contact the baby clinic where your son received his vaccinations, as they should have records.

Refilwe Tshetlha wrote 6 weeks 6 hours ago

Hi, I took my son for his 6 year's shots and now his left arm is swollen and he says it's itchy, is this normal? Thank you 

Tamlyn wrote 6 weeks 2 hours ago

Please speak to your doctor or baby clinic about any medical concerns. 

MAQUIA wrote 6 weeks 19 hours ago

Hi ... Are there any vaccinations or immunizations required at 6 months?

Tamlyn wrote 6 weeks 17 hours ago

According to the above schedule, vaccinations are required at 14 weeks (approx. 3 and 1/2 months) and then again at 9 months.

Anonymous wrote 6 weeks 1 day ago

Hi. My daughter received measles 2 at 24 months instead of 18 months because of a shortage, now the problem is that she's injected on the left arm instead of a right arm. Will that cause any problems for her?

Tamlyn wrote 6 weeks 1 day ago

You would need to speak to your doctor or baby clinic about any medical concerns that you have. 

Anonymous wrote 14 weeks 1 hour 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 13 weeks 6 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 14 weeks 3 days 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 14 weeks 2 days 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 15 weeks 14 hours 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 15 weeks 2 hours ago

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

Anonymous wrote 15 weeks 5 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 15 weeks 4 days ago

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

sham wrote 15 weeks 6 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 15 weeks 6 days ago

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

Gisela wrote 15 weeks 6 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 15 weeks 6 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 16 weeks 1 day ago

Good day

When will the vaccinations be available?

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

 

Tamlyn wrote 16 weeks 22 hours ago

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

Anonymous wrote 17 weeks 1 day 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 17 weeks 20 hours 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 20 weeks 14 hours 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 20 weeks 1 hour ago

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

Luchae Williams wrote 21 weeks 23 hours 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 21 weeks 19 hours ago

You would need to confirm this with your clinic. 

Nobantu wrote 22 weeks 19 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 21 weeks 6 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 22 weeks 5 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 22 weeks 1 day 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 22 weeks 5 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 22 weeks 5 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 22 weeks 6 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 22 weeks 5 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 23 weeks 3 days 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 23 weeks 2 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 24 weeks 1 day 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 24 weeks 1 day ago

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

Tasha wrote 24 weeks 6 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 24 weeks 6 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. 

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