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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

Anonymous wrote 3 weeks 1 day ago

Hi everyone, please I need urgent help.

I am looking to go study overseas and they want my immuisation records, which we no longer have due to misplacement and and moving around. How can I get a record or a copy thereof? The clinic and hospital that I was taken to and the hospital I was born in do not have records that far back. What can I do now to get the info or copy thereof? Please, please help.

Anonymous wrote 3 weeks 1 day ago

Hi there, my daughter is due for her 18 month vaccination. Will she have any side effects if she has the vaccination a few weeks late?

admin wrote 3 weeks 1 day ago

Please ask your health care practitioner for any medical advice.

Tracey-Lee Coetzee wrote 3 weeks 3 days ago

My son is now 13 weeks old. He is going for an MRI in his 14th week when he should have his vaccinations. His last were done in the 10th week 6/11/2014. How early can I do the next set of injections?

admin wrote 3 weeks 2 days ago

Hi Tracey-Lee. Unfortunately, we can't answer this question for you. We recommend that you consult with your family doctor about the vaccination schedule or ask your baby clinic.

Anonymous wrote 3 weeks 3 days ago

Hi, my son is 26 months old. He has not had his 9 month or 18 month injections. Can one have them done at the same time or do they need to be done separately? The reason for not getting the MMR vaccine was that I was worried about autism. Is this true?

admin wrote 3 weeks 3 days ago

No, there is no proven link between the MMR vaccine and autism. We suggest that you urgently consult with your health care practitioner about catching up with any vaccines he has missed.

Anonymous wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

Note to Penny above: a pimple with redness at the injection site is normal for weeks to months post BCG vaccine. Only an issue if it actually forms an abscess or the glands in the armpit become enlarged. From a concerned doctor!

Thembi wrote 10 weeks 5 days ago

I hear there's an immunisation given to kids from 0-15 years old. What is it for and should I take my kids? I haven't heard anything official, but I just heard other mothers asking me if I've taken my kids to the clinic. They don't know what it is for, but they took theirs and they heard over the news.

admin wrote 10 weeks 4 days ago

Hi Thembi. Unfortunately, we're in the dark as well. The immunisation schedule published here is the official version from the department of health. You could always ask your baby clinic for more info.

DollyS wrote 12 weeks 8 hours ago

I took my son for his 12 year immunisation. His temp then changed and lost appetite. I gave him meds but am not winning. Should I be scared?

admin wrote 11 weeks 5 days ago

If you are at all concerned with your child's health, we recommend that you get him to the doctor.

Anonymous wrote 13 weeks 2 days ago

My son is getting his 6 year injections today at school. The nurse that went to the school phoned me and asked why he hasn't had his 18 month injections (I was under the impression that he has had them, as I can still remember giving his school at the time the card). My question is, is it still possible to take him to a clinic to get the 18 month injection. I'm doubting now that he got it at all at the previous school, but if he did get it then would it hurt him to get it again now? I want to be on the safe side and make sure he is up-to-date even if it means he must get it again, just in case. 

admin wrote 12 weeks 4 days ago

If your son recieved the necessary vaccination at 18 months, this should have been recorded on your child's clinic card. You will need to discuss this further with your nearest baby clinic or medical doctor.

Anonymous wrote 13 weeks 4 days ago

Are there vaccinations to be given at 3 years old? I have taken my 3 year old but I recall the clinic sister saying I should bring her back at 3 years old. Please advise.

admin wrote 13 weeks 4 days ago

According to the recommended schedule above, there are no vaccines to be given at 3 years old. Perhaps the clinic was referring to a booster injection. If you are in any doubt, we advise that you consult with your baby clinic.

Anonymous wrote 14 weeks 4 days ago

I would like to find out if I should take my 16 month old for the chickenpox vaccine privately as it's not given by the clinics. How important is this vaccination. Thanks.

admin wrote 14 weeks 4 days ago

Only essential vaccines are listed on the schedule. We recommend that you discuss any other vaccine queries with your child's doctor, who will be in the best position to advise you.

funeka wrote 14 weeks 4 days ago

I have a 2.5 year old and a 4.5 year old... are there any injections that they are supposed to be getting between their 18 month and 6 year injections?

admin wrote 14 weeks 4 days ago

The booster for the MMR vaccine is given at 5 years old.

Betty wrote 15 weeks 5 days 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 15 weeks 4 days 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 17 weeks 2 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 17 weeks 2 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 17 weeks 3 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 17 weeks 2 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 17 weeks 5 days 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 18 weeks 3 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 9 weeks 1 day ago

Please see comment above regards the bump at the injection site. Always check with your doctor if you are concerned about any medical issues.

Anonymous wrote 18 weeks 5 days 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 18 weeks 5 days 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 19 weeks 3 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 19 weeks 1 day 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 19 weeks 6 days ago

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

admin wrote 19 weeks 5 days 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 22 weeks 17 hours 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 21 weeks 5 days 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 23 weeks 5 days 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 23 weeks 4 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 24 weeks 4 days 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 24 weeks 4 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 24 weeks 5 days 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 24 weeks 5 days ago

According to the schedule, if he has received all his 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 24 weeks 5 days 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 24 weeks 5 days ago

We think this has to do with government subsidy.

Anonymous wrote 24 weeks 5 days 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 24 weeks 5 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 25 weeks 2 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 25 weeks 1 day ago

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

Anonymous wrote 26 weeks 2 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?

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