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

patience wrote 6 days 9 hours ago

Hi. Please help, I need to know; my son is 15 months and has already shown some rush in the mouth, ears and other areas. It looks like blisters. Do I still need to take him for this measles vaccine or not? At the clinic they just gave me calamine and said no need for him to be vaccinated for this measles.

Thanks

Tamlyn wrote 5 days 13 hours ago

The measles rash presents first in the mouth as little white spots, followed by a rash on the face, neck and body. If the clinic wasn't able to prescribe anything, please visit your doctor. 

Mudzunga Ralikhwatha wrote 1 week 3 days ago

Hi. My son is 3 years old. He already got a vaccine against measles at 18 months. Now that there is a measles outbreak, should he go and get another shot?

Tamlyn wrote 1 week 3 days ago

Measle vaccine boosters can be given when required. Please speak to your local clinic to determine if your son needs a booster. 

Cindy Khumalo wrote 1 week 4 days ago

Hi. My son is 5 years 11 months old. Is it okay that he gets his 6 year vaccine already or do we need to wait till he is 6 years old? Concerned about the measles outbreak.

Tamlyn wrote 1 week 4 days ago

Your local clinic will be able to tell you whether your son can get the vaccine earlier. 

Noluthando wrote 1 week 6 days ago

Hi. My son got his measles injection at 9 months and he's 11 months now. With the measles outbreak does he need to go to the clinic to get the measles injection again?

Tamlyn wrote 1 week 5 days ago

Should you be concerned about measles, it would be best to speak to your local clinic about whether your child needs a booster. The National Health Laboratory Service says: "Measles vaccines are routinely given at 6 and 12 months of age in the public sector, and at 12 months of age (as part of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine) in private sector. If vaccine doses have been missed, it is never too late to vaccinate against measles. Even if all vaccinations are up to date, measles vaccine boosters can be given when required."

Lerato wrote 2 weeks 6 days ago

Please help. With the announcement of the Measles outbreak, does this mean that I need to take my child in to the clinic, even though she is only due for her 6 months immunization on the 29th of May 2017?

Tamlyn wrote 2 weeks 2 days ago

We have spoken with a clinic sister who says that clinics will only be able to give you the vaccine once your child is 6 months old, not before. If you are concerned about older children, who have already had their measles vaccination, you can speak to your clinic about getting a booster. 

Thandi mathibela wrote 4 weeks 6 days ago

Hey, I took my 6 month old daughter for her vaccination today and they turned us away saying it's only administered on Fridays. Is this right?

Tamlyn wrote 4 weeks 5 days ago

You would need to confirm the clinic and/or vaccination hours with the clinic itself.

Anonymous wrote 5 weeks 5 days ago

An employee has stated that the immunisation of her 6 year old son must be done on his actual birthday. Is this true or can it be done at any other time?

Tamlyn wrote 5 weeks 4 days ago

It is advisable to book the child's immunisation between six and seven years old, but the earlier the better. If she visits a state clinic she can expect vaccination for tetanus and diptheria but should she go private the child will receive a combined vaccintation in one injection which also includes immunisation against polio and whooping cough. We would recommend that you or your employee contact your local baby clinic or paediatrician should you need any further advice. 

Anonymous wrote 5 weeks 5 days ago

My daugther is 17 months old. According to the clinic card I recieved at the hospital, it shows 9 months and then only at 18 months. When I called our local Stork's Nest, they said she need to get a 1 year and then a 15 months additional to the 18 months. Is this a requirment?

Tamlyn wrote 5 weeks 4 days ago

The recommended immunisation schedule is given above, but additional vaccines may be available. Please speak to your doctor or clinic about what is required. 

Anonymous wrote 7 weeks 5 days ago

My first child had a bad reaction to his 6 year immunisation; it messed him up and we are still dealing with the side effects. Now, his 9 year and his sister's 18 month ones we managed to help with african herbs. For my last child, I want to give one vaccine at a time. Is that allowed?

Tamlyn wrote 7 weeks 4 days ago

We would suggest that you speak to your doctor or family clinic about your questions and concerns. You can also try to find a local parenting or family centre. We have also answered some questions about immunisations in this article: www.childmag.co.za/content/give-them-shot

Anonymous wrote 14 weeks 2 days ago

Hi, are there any known side effects caused by the 18 month immunization? Thanks

Tamlyn wrote 13 weeks 6 days ago

We would suggest that you speak to your doctor or baby clinic about any questions that you have. 

Gamu wrote 18 weeks 2 days ago

My 5 year old son has been vaccinated until 18 months, but now he has measels. Should he be immunised again?

Tamlyn wrote 17 weeks 6 days ago

Unfortunately we are not qualified to answer medical queries. You would need to speak to your doctor or clinic nurse about your concerns. 

Anonymous wrote 22 weeks 5 days ago

Hi, is the 6 year's immunisation the same product in both private clinics as well as public clinics? 

Tamlyn wrote 20 weeks 4 days ago

You would need to confirm this with your local clinic. 

Anonymous wrote 24 weeks 38 min ago

Hi, my child was born on the 10th of Nov and they gave her a date for 6 weeks to be on the 12th. Did they make a mistake there or can a baby be vaccinated in 4 weeks without there being any problem?

Tamlyn wrote 23 weeks 6 days ago

We would suggest that you speak to your doctor or clinic nurse about any medical concerns. 

Anonymous wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

My child is 14 months old and he was given the immunization for an 18 month old child and to my surprise at the wrong location. I mean on the leg and to my understanding that injection is given on the arm. Can there be any consequences after that, what should I do? Please help.

Tamlyn wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

We suggest that you speak to your doctor or clinic nurse about your concerns. 

Anonymous wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

Make an informed decision for your child(ren). I highly recommend reading the book Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines,and The Forgotten History by Dr Suzanne Humphries MD and Roman Bystriank.

Anonymous wrote 27 weeks 3 days ago

Hi. My child is 1 years old now and I haven't taken him to the clinic for 9 months so I am scared. What can I do? Please help ...

Tamlyn wrote 27 weeks 3 days ago

Please speak to your doctor or local family planning clinic about how to proceed.

Anonymous wrote 28 weeks 5 days ago

My child has only been vacinated until 9 months. Is this a problem when applying for schools?

Tamlyn wrote 28 weeks 4 days ago

Many schools do require you to submit your child's Road to Health card, but you would need to speak to the individual school to find out their policy on vaccinations. 

Anonymous wrote 35 weeks 3 days ago

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

Tamlyn wrote 35 weeks 2 days ago

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

CORNCENED MOTHER wrote 35 weeks 6 days 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 35 weeks 5 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 36 weeks 5 days 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 36 weeks 2 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 37 weeks 3 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 37 weeks 3 days ago

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

Amandalee wrote 37 weeks 5 days 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 37 weeks 5 days ago

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

Refilwe Tshetlha wrote 40 weeks 4 days 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 40 weeks 4 days ago

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

MAQUIA wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

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

Tamlyn wrote 40 weeks 5 days 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 40 weeks 6 days 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 40 weeks 5 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 48 weeks 4 days 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

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