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

Bavs wrote 1 day 14 hours ago

My daughter is almost 13 months old and, as the immunisation schedule suggests, she needs to have vaccinations at 12 months old. The place where I take her for immunisations does not have the measles one in stock at the moment but has the rest. Is that advisable?

Tamlyn wrote 19 hours 55 min ago

We would suggest that your daughter have the other vaccinations in the meantime, and you should find out when the measles vaccine will be in stock or ask at another clinic nearby, possibly Dischem, if they have stock available.

Anonymous wrote 3 weeks 5 days ago

My baby is 10 weeks old and she had to get her 10 weeks' vaccination. At the clinic they only gave her the DTaP-Hib-HepB and left the RV and PCV vaccine and was told I must come back next month. Do I need to find another clinic to get the left vaccine or wait for the date I was given to come back?

Tamlyn wrote 3 weeks 3 days ago

According to the above schedule the RV and PCV vaccines are only given at 14 weeks, so we would suggest that you go back when advised by the clinic. 

Anonymous wrote 6 weeks 11 hours ago

Which page copies of the Road-To-Health card should we give to the schools?

Tamlyn wrote 5 weeks 6 days ago

As far as we know, the important ones are those showing the record of vaccinations. However, if you are uncertain, please speak to the school, or send through copies of all the pages. 

Anonymous wrote 6 weeks 2 days ago

Good afternoon, my daughter is now 15 months and received her MMR at just over 12 months... Today it has been confirmed, she has measels :( Does she still have to go for her 2nd measels vac at 18 months?

Tamlyn wrote 6 weeks 17 hours ago

Please speak to your doctor. He or she would be able to best direct you as to when your daughter will need another vaccination. 

BonnieSboe wrote 6 weeks 3 days ago

Good day. Is there a vaccination for 3 years six months?

Tamlyn wrote 6 weeks 2 days ago

According to the schedule outlined above, children are only vaccinated every few months up until 18 months, and then again at six years. 

zoe wrote 6 weeks 3 days ago

My son is 8 years old. The health department has not been to his primary school (in the East Rand) to immunise them. They have however been to the surrounding creches in the area.

Do you have information as to when they will attend to Primary Schools? If not, can I take him to the clinic?

Tamlyn wrote 6 weeks 3 days ago

You can take your son to the clinic for the vaccination. Please have a look at this FAQ article on the measles vaccination: http://www.childmag.co.za/content/measles-faqs

sumaiya wrote 6 weeks 3 days ago

Hi, please help. I missed my son's vaccination of 15-18 month!! Now my baby is 2 years old. Can he get that vaccine now?

Tamlyn wrote 6 weeks 2 days ago

It would be best to go to your local clinic and chat to them about catching up on any missed vaccinations. 

Anonymous wrote 8 weeks 19 hours ago

My son has missed his second dosage of the Hepatitis A injection. Will it be okay? He's over 6 years now. Will it have an effect on him?

Tamlyn wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

It would be best to speak to your clinic or doctor, who will be able to tell you if your son still needs to have this vaccine. 

patience wrote 8 weeks 3 days 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 8 weeks 2 days 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 9 weeks 12 hours 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 9 weeks 12 hours 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 9 weeks 2 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 9 weeks 1 day ago

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

Noluthando wrote 9 weeks 3 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 9 weeks 2 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 10 weeks 3 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 9 weeks 6 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 12 weeks 3 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 12 weeks 2 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 13 weeks 2 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 13 weeks 1 day 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 13 weeks 2 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 13 weeks 1 day 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 15 weeks 2 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 15 weeks 1 day 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 21 weeks 6 days ago

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

Tamlyn wrote 21 weeks 3 days ago

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

Gamu wrote 25 weeks 6 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 25 weeks 3 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 30 weeks 2 days ago

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

Tamlyn wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

You would need to confirm this with your local clinic. 

Anonymous wrote 31 weeks 4 days 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 31 weeks 3 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 32 weeks 2 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 32 weeks 1 day ago

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

Anonymous wrote 32 weeks 6 days 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 35 weeks 19 hours 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 35 weeks 14 hours ago

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

Anonymous wrote 36 weeks 2 days ago

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

Tamlyn wrote 36 weeks 1 day 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 43 weeks 18 hours ago

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

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