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 
OPV (0)
Intradermal injection to right upper arm
Drops by mouth
6 weeks
OPV (1)
RV (1)
DTaP-IPV-Hib-HepB (1)
PCV (1)
Drops by mouth
Liquid by mouth
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
10 weeks
DTaP-IPV-HIB-HepB (2)
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh
14 weeks
RV (2)
DTaP-IPV-Hib-HepB (3)
PCV (2)
Liquid by mouth 
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh 
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
6 months
Measles (1)
Intramuscular injection to thigh or arm
9 months
PCV (3)
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
12 months
Measles (2) Intramuscular injection to thigh or arm
18 months
DTaP-IPV-Hib-HepB (4) Intramuscular injection to the left arm
6 years (both boys and girls)
Td (1)
Intramuscular injection to the left arm
12 years (both boys and girls)
Td (2)
Intramuscular injection to the left arm
Source: National Institute for Communicable Diseases  
 
BCG – Tuberculosis vaccine (Bacille Calmette-Guerrin)
OPV – Oral polio vaccine
DTaP-IPV-Hib-HepB – Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis-injectable polio-Haemophilus influenzae b- Hepatitis B vaccine
Td – Tetanus, reduced dose diphtheria vaccine
RV - Rotavirus vaccine
PCV - Pneumococcal conjugate 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.

Note: The above schedule is in line with the national expanded program on immunization (EPI) schedule in use from 2016. Multiple other schedules are available from private providers. 

Comments

Tshimo wrote 1 week 21 hours ago

Hi, so my daughter is 6 months and only today I learned that I have to take her for vaccinations. Is it too late?

admin wrote 1 week 17 hours ago

It shouldn't be too late to catch up on missed vaccinations, but it would be best to speak to your doctor or family clinic about this as soon as possible. 

Anonymous wrote 2 weeks 1 day ago

My child turned 6 years in January 2018. I took her to the clinic for her injection and they injected her on right arm instead of the left arm. Is this right? Is it a problem?

admin wrote 2 weeks 15 hours ago

Should you have any concerns, it is advisable to speak to your clinic or doctor. But from what we could find out, having the vaccine in the other arm (or leg) doesn’t affect the vaccine. It seems as if it is generally recommended to give the vaccine in the less dominant arm, so that it doesn’t cause undue pain in the dominant arm. However, recent practice shows that having the vaccine in the dominant arm can help any pain clear up sooner, as that arm is more in use. 

amanda chetty wrote 2 weeks 1 day ago

I've lost my son's clinic card. He is now 6 and needs his jab. His last jab was when he was 18months. Can he be administered with all the immunizations required to start afresh.

admin wrote 2 weeks 1 day ago

Please speak to your local clinic or doctor about this, as we are unable to advise on this issue. 

TracyT wrote 2 weeks 6 days ago

A family is immigrating to New Zealand 3 days before their child turns 1. If they do the Measles 2 before they leave South Africa there is the risk of him showing side effects and maybe a temp on arrival in NZ and they might refuse entry or quarantine them. If they delay the Measles 2 intending to do it in NZ they risk being denied entry into NZ because the Measles immunisation is not up to date. All other immunisations are up to date. The question is...  How far in advance before 1 years old is it possible to have the Measles 2?

admin wrote 2 weeks 5 days ago

According to information from the Dept of Health, the measles vaccine is less effective in infants less than one year old, but your doctor or clinic should be able to advise whether the vaccination can be given any earlier. Side effects of the measles vaccine often include a mild fever with measles-like rash within a few days or weeks after vaccination. Individuals can catch up on any missed vaccinations, although you would need to consult a doctor in New Zealand or possibly a travel clinic to ask about vaccination requirements for immigration. 

Anonymous wrote 4 weeks 1 day ago

When should I take my 22 months and 3 week old for immunizations?

admin wrote 4 weeks 1 day ago

If your children are up to date on all of their vaccines, then they will next need immunizations at 6 years and 6 weeks, respectively. Please confirm this with your family clinic or doctor.

Colin wrote 4 weeks 4 days ago

Hi. My son was born Monday 15 Jan 2018 in a public hospital in Mpumalanga, and we were told that public hospitals don't provide the BCG vaccine anymore. Is this true? It's a huge concern to me that newborns don't receive this very important vaccine anymore. I believe that we must pay for this vaccine now?

admin wrote 3 weeks 6 days ago

We spoke with a baby clinic regarding the availability of BCG vaccines. Apparently there is a shortage but most hospitals should be getting the vaccine. However, they often only open a 10 dose vial once they have 10 babies to vaccinate, so they may be asking parents to go back on a certain day. It would be best to contact the hospital where your son was born to confirm this. 

Shaunwm wrote 4 weeks 6 days ago

My son was born two weeks ago, but on visiting the local clinic they discovered that, according his clinic card, he has not been given the polio drops at birth. On contacting the hospital, they mentioned that the polio drops have been phased out... Is it true that hospitals don't administer the polio drops any more and why?

admin wrote 4 weeks 5 days ago

We spoke with a local Stork’s Nest clinic, who said that the Polio drops are being phased out. Polio has nearly been eliminated so the risk has been reduced. However, to ensure it is completely eliminated, it is important to keep vaccinating against this disease. As they are phasing out, hospitals are experiencing a shortage of the Polio drops. You can stay in touch with the hospital where your baby was born and return for the drops when they have more in stock. However, at 6, 10 and 14 weeks babies receive an intramuscular vaccination against Polio and you can wait for this. Your baby is at a low risk of getting the disease especially if he is staying at home for the first six weeks. 

ZAMA wrote 5 weeks 1 day ago

Hi, my son is turning 7 months on 24 January and I am supposed to take him to the clinic on that date but  I have a very serious meeting at work. Is the appointment serious and is he going to get a vaccination for seven months, because when I look at the vaccination chart 9 months is the next date. 

admin wrote 5 weeks 20 hours ago

The vaccination schedule is for 6 and then 9 months, so please check with your clinic or doctor as to why you would need to take your son at 7 months. The vaccination also doesn't have to be given on the exact date, but it is advisable to get any innoculations as soon as possible after the required date. 

Anonymous wrote 5 weeks 5 days ago

My child turned 6 in August 2017 and has not had her 6 year vaccine as yet. Is it too late; what can be done? Need advice...

admin wrote 5 weeks 5 days ago

You should still be able to catch up on any missed vaccines, but it is advisable to do this as soon as possible. Please confirm this with your clinic or family doctor. 

Anonymous wrote 6 weeks 21 hours ago

I clean forgot about 18 month vaccinations! My child is now 22 months; can he still catch up on the missed vaccinations?

admin wrote 6 weeks 18 hours ago

It should be fine for your child to catch up on any missed vaccinations, and as soon as possible. Please confirm this with your doctor or local family clinic. 

Anonymous wrote 6 weeks 1 day ago

My son is turning 3; should I take him for an injection ?

admin wrote 6 weeks 1 day ago

If your son has had all the required vaccinations to date, he should not need any others at 3 years old. It would be best to confirm this with your family doctor or clinic. 

Anonymous wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

Hi. My child turns 6 in January 2018 and unfortunately her clinic card is in another province. Is it possible for her to get her injection after a few weeks? 

admin wrote 6 weeks 1 day ago

It is advisable for your child to get her vaccinations as soon as possible. We would suggest that you speak to your local clinic about the best way to proceed. 

Anonymous wrote 12 weeks 20 hours ago

Good Day

My son is 20 months old and has missed 3 of his injections. Is there any way he can catch up?

Please advise.

admin wrote 12 weeks 15 hours ago

Your son should be able to catch up on any vaccinations that he has missed. Please confirm this with your clinic or doctor as soon as possible. 

Ryan wrote 12 weeks 5 days ago

We have been given guardianship of a 4 year old girl (she is my brother's child and he passed away in 2016). In December she will turn 5. We have no idea what vaccines (if any) she had. She doesn't have a Vaccine Chart. Where do we start? If we were to assume that she did not have any vaccines, will it matter if she gets certain shots again (if she indeed had it before). Any advise is much appreciated!

admin wrote 10 weeks 6 days ago

You can try asking her doctor, who may have a record of any shots or be able to tell you where she would have had vaccines done. The clinic then would have a record. You would also need to speak to a doctor about the possible risks of duplicating shots. 

Thandazile Thela wrote 13 weeks 5 days ago

My daughter is 4 years old. Her clinic card says next vaccination is at 6 years but I see the nursing sister where I used to take her has inserted "Chickenpox booster at 4 years". Is it necessary to do it now or I can do it at 6 years with the rest?

Tamlyn wrote 10 weeks 6 days ago

The Chickenpox vaccine is not part of the government vaccine schedule as children usually heal from this without complications, but it is available in the private sector. Please speak to your clinic or doctor about when it should be administered. 

Anonymous wrote 13 weeks 6 days ago

At birth my baby was not given an injection. The nurse brought the injection and walked away, promising to come back. When I reminded the nurse to give the shot, she said she gave it while I was in the bathroom. My baby is now 1 month old and doesn't have the BCG pimple on her right arm. I asked the nurse before discharge about this and she called me a "troublemaker". I'm worried about my infant. What should I do?

an

Tamlyn wrote 10 weeks 6 days ago

We're sorry to hear about your troubles. The hospital should have a record of any medication given to your child, so you can ask them for this information. 

Anonymous wrote 14 weeks 3 days ago

My son is 6 years old. He had a TD vaccine in June 2017 and now in November 2017 he was given the TD shot again at school. What are the dangers for that and also the side effects? Must he still get the shot at 12 years or he can miss it now that he had 2 already?

admin wrote 10 weeks 6 days ago

Please speak to your doctor or clinic about the possible risks or side effects of having two vaccines close together. Your son will probably need to have another shot at 12 as immunity to diptheria can decrease over time. Again, it would be best to consult a doctor about this. 

Raj wrote 15 weeks 1 day ago

Hi,

My child requires the Td vaccine at the age of 6 years. Does it come as a single vaccine or in combination? Is it safe to give Infanrix or Hexasim? Are these two products the same thing? Can this vaccination scheduled for 6 years of age be given a month later when my child turns 6 years.

 

Thanks for anticipated help.

admin wrote 12 weeks 5 days ago

According to the above schedule, the Td vaccine is a single injection, however it would be advisable to address mediacl queries to your doctor or clinic. It is recommended that vaccines are given as your child turns the given age, or as soon after as possible. 

Lynette Reddy wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

At 12 years old, do you need the vaccinication or can you skip it?

admin wrote 16 weeks 5 days ago

According to the above schedule you do need a vaccination at 12 years old. Should you have any queries or concerns it would be advisable to speak to your doctor or a family clinic. 

Anonymous wrote 17 weeks 2 days ago

My daughter is nine months old and she visited the clinic at six month for measles and vitamin A. Is there any immunization she missed at 7 and 8 months?  

Tamlyn wrote 17 weeks 1 day ago

According to the above schedule, there are no vaccinations required at 7 or 8 months. However, please consult your Road to Health clinic card and your family clinic, to ensure nothing has been missed. 

Anonymous wrote 17 weeks 4 days ago

My son is now 9 years old, but he missed his 6 /7 year immunisation. Can he still go for that?

Tamlyn wrote 17 weeks 4 days ago

Your son should still be able to catch up on this vaccination, but please confirm this with your clinic or doctor.

Roxanne Kloppers wrote 18 weeks 12 hours ago

I took my 10 week old for his vaccines at the local Dischem pharmacy. They advised that the Prevenar or PCV vaccine moved to nine months, and so did not give it. Today when taking him for his 14 week vaccinations at a different pharmacy the pharmacist was confused by this and says that it has not moved. He is now behind two PCV vaccines. Did it move to 9 months old or should he get them?

admin wrote 17 weeks 6 days ago

According to the latest immunisation schedule (updated above), some of the vaccinations have moved by a few months. The PCV vaccines however, are due at 6 weeks, 14 weeks and 9 months. We would suggest that you speak to your pharmacy or paediatrician about catching up on any missed vaccinations.

Mohamed wrote 18 weeks 2 days ago

My child is 4 years old and was taken for all of his vaccines. I only realised lately when the DOH was visiting schools to administer the Measles vaccines that the doctor had only given him the "Measles1" vaccine at 9 months and skipped the ''Measles2'' vaccine at 18 months. Apparently it is a norm with this doctor but he advises to take the 2nd vaccination if you wish. Could you advise the difference between the 2 vaccinations and how important the 2nd vaccination is?

admin wrote 18 weeks 1 day ago

According to the Health Department, there are two types of measles vaccine available in South Africa; the single vaccine and the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. The vaccine is less effective in infants under one year, so the two doses are essential. It's also never too late to catch up on the missed vaccination, and during outbreaks or mass campaigns, older children, adolescents or adults can receive vaccinations. 

Anonymous wrote 19 weeks 12 hours ago

My son is 24 months. He received a normal measles injection at 18 months. The clinic wants give him a full measles injection and they also added another Hep A and Hep B. Is this a requirement to get?

admin wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

According to the above schedule, your son shouldn’t need any injection at 24 months, unless he has missed something along the way. However, we would suggest speaking to a doctor about your concerns. 

Elisha wrote 19 weeks 1 day ago

Hi. My little boy is 30 weeks old. Can he still have the measbio vaccine? He could not get it when he was 24 weeks.

admin wrote 19 weeks 22 hours ago

Yes, your son should still be able to catch up on the missed vaccination. But please speak to your doctor or family clinic for confirmation. 

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