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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

Priscilla wrote 3 weeks 1 day 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 3 weeks 1 day 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 3 weeks 2 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 3 weeks 2 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.

Anonymous wrote 5 weeks 1 day ago

Where can I get a new clinic card if my child's was stolen or lost?

admin wrote 4 weeks 3 days ago

From the baby clinic you are registered at, otherwise contact the Department of Health in your province for assistance.

Anonymous wrote 6 weeks 2 days ago

Can a school reject your child for admission if their immunisations are not on schedule? What if your religion is against the use of immunisations? 

Anonymous JHB wrote 8 weeks 2 days ago

Does anyone know where I can get the pricing of immunisations? I need to budget while on maternity leave. I'm based in Joburg. Thanks. (Or just a rough idea of what someone paid last year.)

admin wrote 8 weeks 1 day ago

You could enquire at a baby clinic or ask your family doctor. 

Me2306 wrote 8 weeks 5 days ago

My boy is currently 5 years old and will be turning 6 in June. Can I take him now for his 6 year immunization or should I wait for after he turns 6?

admin wrote 8 weeks 4 days ago

Please check with your health care practitioner or baby clinic, as we are unsure.

Anonymous wrote 13 weeks 6 days 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 13 weeks 6 days 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 13 weeks 6 days ago

Please ask your health care practitioner for any medical advice.

Tracey-Lee Coetzee wrote 14 weeks 1 day 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 14 weeks 1 day 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 14 weeks 1 day 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 14 weeks 1 day 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 20 weeks 16 hours 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 21 weeks 3 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 21 weeks 3 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 22 weeks 5 days 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 22 weeks 3 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 24 weeks 20 hours 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 23 weeks 2 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 24 weeks 2 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 24 weeks 2 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 25 weeks 2 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 25 weeks 2 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 25 weeks 2 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 25 weeks 2 days ago

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

Betty wrote 26 weeks 3 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 26 weeks 2 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 28 weeks 18 hours 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 28 weeks 16 hours 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 28 weeks 1 day 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 28 weeks 23 hours 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 28 weeks 3 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 29 weeks 1 day 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 20 weeks 27 min 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 29 weeks 3 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 29 weeks 3 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 30 weeks 1 day 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 29 weeks 6 days 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 30 weeks 5 days ago

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

admin wrote 30 weeks 3 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 32 weeks 5 days 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 32 weeks 3 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 34 weeks 3 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 34 weeks 3 days ago

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

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