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 20 hours 5 min 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?

admin wrote 7 min ago

We urge you to consult with your family doctor, as these symptoms may have nothing to do with the vaccinations.

Anne mtshali wrote 1 day 2 hours ago

I stay with my 10-month-old grandson. He is up to date with his immunisation schedule. I have been exposed to someone with mumps. He has not had his MMR. Is it possible for him to get it even if I don't have symptoms yet?

admin wrote 9 min 43 sec ago

The MMR vaccine is given at 15 months. Please consult with a clinic sister or medical doctor about your concerns.

Anne wrote 1 day 11 hours ago

Can you please tell me if children get a vaccination for chickenpox and when it gets done? Is there a specific code for it?

admin wrote 11 min 45 sec ago

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The varicella vaccine is given to help prevent chickenpox, but it's not on the schedule. You will need to enquire about its availability at a clinic, pharmacy or discuss your concerns with your family doctor.

Anonymous wrote 4 days 7 min ago

Hi, my son didn't go for any of his vaccinations last year. He is now 5 years old. Is there a vaccine he needs to get at this age and do you perhaps know how much it costs at Clicks or Dischem?

admin wrote 14 min 35 sec ago

If your child was up to date at 18 months, his next shots are at 6 years old, according to the schedule. We're unsure about prices -- you will need to enquire at a pharmacy that offers vaccines. Also, if you're unsure about anything, we advise that you speak to a clinic sister.

Anonymous wrote 5 days 20 hours ago

My son missed his 15 month injections; he is now 18 months old. Can they give him the 15 month injections and 18 month injections in one visit?

admin wrote 5 days 37 min ago

We're sure that you can catch up on the missed vaccinations, but we're not sure if your baby clinic will do this all in one go. We recommend that you check with your clinic sister or ask your medical doctor.

Anonymous wrote 5 days 23 hours ago

Hi, my son turned 12 in December 2015. He hasn't received his vaccines as yet. Will the vaccines still be given to my son?

Concerned mum...Savita

admin wrote 5 days 21 hours ago

Children who have missed their scheduled vaccinations can often catch up, so we advise that you chat to a clinic sister or your family doctor about the best way forward. Some vaccines are age-specific, but there are often alternatives available to ensure your child is immunised against preventable diseases.

Anonymous wrote 6 days 18 hours ago

My daughter is 10 months old. I've heard that there is a flu vaccination. I took her for the 9 months vaccinations. Is the flu one necessary?

admin wrote 5 days 21 hours ago

The flu vaccine is not required. Each year, a new flu vaccine is made available to the public. We recommend that you chat to your family doctor or clinic sister about whether or not your child can or should have it.

Shervorne wrote 1 week 1 hour ago

I have taken my daughter for the vitamin A injection; however, the clinic advised to bring her back for a vitamin C injection. Seeing that I am giving her Creche Guard and Scotts emulsion, is it necessary to take her back to the clinic to get her vitamin C? Please advise.

admin wrote 1 week 51 min ago

Unfortunately, we cannot give such medical advice. If your clinic sister has advised you to get it, we recommend that you follow their advice. But do inform them of any supplements you are already giving your child.

Anonymous wrote 1 week 1 day ago

My step-daughter has not had any vaccinations since she was born. She now needs to go to Grade 1 and they require an up-to-date vaccination card. How can we rectify this? Can she catch up on all of them now? She will be 6 years old in July.

admin wrote 1 week 1 day ago

Yes, you should be able to catch up with most if not all the required vaccinations. We urge you to get your child to a clinic sister or your family doctor for proper medical advice.

Anonymous wrote 1 week 6 days ago

Hi, my son is going to turn 16 months in May and he hasn't had his one year immunisation as yet. Can I still take him for his one year immunisation, or rather just wait till 18 months? I've heard of a few people that took their children for the one year immunisation.

admin wrote 1 week 5 days ago

According to the recommended schedule, if your child has had his 9 month vaccinations, the next ones due are at 18 months. We're not sure what immunisations are required at 12 months, but to be on the safe side, ask your baby clinic or family doctor.

Mumsy wrote 2 weeks 56 min ago

I'm taking my son for his 24 month schedule of vitamins as the nurse has mentioned. Are those vitamins important?

 

admin wrote 1 week 6 days ago

If the health practitioner has advised it, then we recommend you follow their advice. Vitamins are not vaccines, but they will help your child stay healthy.

Anonymous wrote 2 weeks 16 hours ago

My daughter is 15 months old and had her last vaccine (measles) in November last year. What vaccine is she now due for?

admin wrote 1 week 6 days ago

According to the schedule, the vaccine against measles is given at 9 months and again at 18 months. However, the MMR vaccine is also given at 15 months, so please ask your baby clinic for advice and make sure you keep a record of all your child's immunisations.

Anonymous wrote 2 weeks 17 hours ago

My daughter will be turning 3 in May. Is she due for a shot?

admin wrote 1 week 6 days ago

If she is up to date, she would have had her vaccinations at 18 months, so the next shots are due at 6 years old. However, she may require booster shots, so you could enquire with your baby clinic or doctor about that.

shaday wrote 2 weeks 4 days ago

My baby is 7 weeks old and I'm going to the clinic on 12 May, but my baby didn't get any BCG or anything yet. My baby looks healthy. Should I be worried? 

admin wrote 2 weeks 4 days ago

If your child has not received any vaccinations yet, you should request these at your baby clinic at your next visit.

Anonymous wrote 2 weeks 4 days ago

My baby girl will be turning 2 years in September this year. Is there a vaccine that she must get? 

admin wrote 2 weeks 4 days ago

According to the schedule, if your child has had the 18 month vaccines, the next ones are only due at 6 years old.

Anonymous wrote 3 weeks 5 days ago

My child missed her 6 year vaccination; she is now 7. Can I take her for the vaccine?

admin wrote 3 weeks 23 hours ago

Yes, we understand that you may still get the vaccine. However, please ask your baby clinic or family doctor for proper medical advice.

Mmabatho wrote 3 weeks 6 days ago

Can someone help me with clinics or a pharmacy in Balfourpark and surrounding areas that has government stock for immunisations? My baby is due for the 18-month vaccine.

admin wrote 3 weeks 6 days ago

Hi there. You will need to contact your nearest baby clinic and make your enquiry directly.

Anonymous wrote 4 weeks 6 days ago

During moves and divorce and flooding in our one house etc. I've lost my son's immunisation card. He is now due his 6 year booster and I have to register him for Grade 1 next year. I'm worried that no school will take him without this. What do I do?

admin wrote 4 weeks 5 days ago

The baby clinic(s) where your son received the immunisations should have a record.

Anonymous wrote 4 weeks 6 days ago

In South Africa the immunsation schedule states that the 18 months DTP and measles vaccines are applied to left and right arm, but for my child they gave it in the left thigh and right thigh. Will these have any side effects in my baby boy?

admin wrote 4 weeks 5 days ago

We're not sure that it matters exactly where the vaccines are administered, but you will need to find out either from your family doctor or the baby clinic.

Sbongile wrote 6 weeks 5 days ago

My son had his 14 weeks injection last month to his right thigh and the clinic didn't have the intramascular injection for the left thigh. Can I take him now for that injection and what are the affects to my son if not taken?

admin wrote 6 weeks 5 days ago

It should be prefectly fine for your son to still get the vaccine he has missed, and we do encourage you to follow the immunisation schedule for his sake and for the good of other children he interacts with. However, please seek proper medical advice from your doctor or baby clinic.

Anonymous wrote 9 weeks 6 days ago

My son has turned 6 years old and we are now living in Namibia, where they do not give a vaccine at 6 but rather at 5. What are my options?

admin wrote 9 weeks 6 days ago

Your baby clinic or family doctor should be able to advise you. We don't see why your son would not be able to get the necessary immunisation, but please get medical advice from a qualified health care professional.

Nmb wrote 10 weeks 5 days ago

Hi, please assist. How do we request for vaccination for chickenpox at our creche?

admin wrote 10 weeks 5 days ago

Please contact your nearest baby clinic and they will advise you.

Anonymous wrote 11 weeks 1 day ago

I was born in Pretoria, South Africa and am living in Australia. I am stuying my cert III in Health Care Assistant and need proof of immunisation to be able to qualify. However, I have no records of my immunisations as I was born in 1983. Is there any way I can find any of my immunisation records or will I have to go for blood tests to determine this?

admin wrote 11 weeks 20 hours ago

Unfortunately, we are unsure about the process. Please contact the National Department of Health in South Africa to find out: www.health.gov.za

Priscilla wrote 14 weeks 5 days ago

I went to my mother-in-law's place in Lesotho, where I had to take my son to the nearby clinic for his 6 week vaccination. He was given Pentavalent and opv only. I am back home in Johannesburg where I have to take him for his 10 weeks. What will happen to my son? Are they going to give him the 6 week immunisations together with the 10 week immunisations?

admin wrote 14 weeks 5 days ago

Hi Priscilla. You should have a record of the six-week vaccinations your child received in Lesotho, which you can show your baby clinic in Joburg. If he has been given the recommended vaccinations, you shouldn't have to repeat them. But if your child has missed any, your baby clinic will likely advise that your child has them. 

Charl wrote 14 weeks 6 days ago

Hi there. My son turned 9 on 2 Feb 2015. His last vaccine was the 18 months one. Everything is up to date except that I have not taken him for the 6 year one. Can I still take him? Is it absolutley necessary or can I wait for the next one at 12 years?

admin wrote 14 weeks 6 days ago

Hi Charl. The immunisation schedule above is recommended by the Department of Health, so it is in your child's best interest (and those he comes into contact with) to have all the vaccines. It is not too late to get your child's vaccines up to date.

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