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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

Anonymous wrote 1 week 2 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 1 week 10 hours 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 3 weeks 6 hours 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 2 weeks 6 days ago

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

Anonymous wrote 3 weeks 6 days ago

Hi there, my son just turned 4 years old recently and I used  to take him for immuisation after every 6 months. I want to know whether or not I should continue doing so or wait for the 6 years one?

admin wrote 3 weeks 6 days ago

According to the schedule, after his 14 weeks is his 9 months and then only again at 6 years. If he's up to date, you only need to take him again when he's six, unless you opt for vaccination not on the mandatory list.

Anonymous wrote 4 weeks 10 hours ago

I took my son for his 14 weeks immunisation today (30 June 2014) and at the clinic they scheduled his next appointment for 28 July 2014. Is this correct?

admin wrote 4 weeks 10 hours ago

According to the schedule, if he has received all this vaccines due at 14 weeks, his next lot should be at 9 months. We recommend querying this with another baby clinic or your doctor.

Nkele wrote 4 weeks 11 hours ago

Took my six-week old to the pharmacy for immunisation and was told I have to pay over R1000 from my medical aid. Then went to the nearest clinic where the service is for free. My question is: why are they different?

admin wrote 4 weeks 10 hours ago

We think this has to do with government subsidy.

Anonymous wrote 4 weeks 12 hours ago

For my daughter's 2, 3, 4 month vaccines she got the private dose. Due to unforseen circumstances I can no longer afford it. Is it possible to give her the government vaccines instead or do I have to stick to private?

admin wrote 4 weeks 10 hours ago

As far as we know, the vaccines administered are the same.

Anonymous wrote 4 weeks 3 days ago

We relocated to NZ in 2008 and I appear to have lost my son's clinic booklet with the proof of his vaccinations in the move. I was wondering whether there is any other actual record of vaccinations that he had in South Africa and if so, how I could go about getting my hands on these records? Thank you.

admin wrote 4 weeks 3 days ago

The clinic that administered the vaccinations may have a record, so we suggest that you contact them.

Anonymous wrote 5 weeks 4 days ago

Hi there please advise what the vitamin A drops at 6 months are for and if it is like a vaccination or merely a supplement?

admin wrote 5 weeks 11 hours ago

Please note that anything not listed above is not a mandatory vaccination. Vitamins are generally given as supplements, not immunisation.

Neel wrote 6 weeks 4 days ago

Hi there, I am a south African female born in 1986. Would it be possible to find out what the immunisation schedule was like back then and what immunisations I am likely to have received as a child? I recall having injections in primary school and obviously I would have had them as a baby. Sadly my mother passed away and she was the only person who could answer my question. Any help would be sincerely appreciated.

admin wrote 6 weeks 3 days ago

Your best option is to enquire with the department of health.

jolene wrote 6 weeks 5 days ago

Can I still take my babe for his 18 mnths immunisation? He is 24 mnths now.

admin wrote 6 weeks 3 days ago

Yes, you should still be able to, but we recommend that you consult with your baby clinic as soon as possible.

Charl wrote 7 weeks 5 days ago

Hi, my son is 9 months old and he got the measles and pneumococcal vaccine today. He has a cold and a cough and I want to find out if the immunisation he got will in any way make the cold and cough more resistant. Or if it's safe for him to continue with his medication. Thank you so much.

admin wrote 7 weeks 4 days ago

Hi Charl. You really need a professional's medical advice to answer such questions. Please consult with your child's paediatrician. 

Jo-Anne wrote 11 weeks 7 hours ago

My daugther is 15 months old and am battling to locate a government clinic where there is stock of the chicken pox vaccine.  I am told that there has been no supply to the clinics by government. Do you know anything about this and if so, could you advise when this vaccine will become available?

admin wrote 10 weeks 6 days ago

Hi Jo-Anne. Unfortunately, we have no knowledge of this and recommend that you contact the Department of Health.

Thandi wrote 12 weeks 10 hours ago

My baby went for his 9-month injection for measles and the sister said I must bring the child again when he's a year old. Is this necessary?

admin wrote 12 weeks 9 hours ago

Hi Thandi. According to the schedule, your child should have his next vaccination at 18 months.

Anonymous wrote 14 weeks 4 days ago

Currently we reside in Qatar and so far my one-year-old son has had all his shots here and is up to date. His next jab is scheduled for when he is 15 months old (we will be back home in South Africa then); from the schedule I don't see any vaccinations in South Africa at 15 months. Will he be able to get the necessary vaccinations in SA? Also, where do I apply to get a clinic card for him?

admin wrote 14 weeks 4 days ago

We recommend that you contact the Department for Health or your local baby clinic when back in South Africa.

Anonymous wrote 14 weeks 6 days ago

The last time I took my 29 month-old was when she just turned 2. When will the second visit be?

admin wrote 14 weeks 4 days ago

We recommend that you check with your baby clinic, as your card should say which vaccines your child has had. If your child had the 18 month vaccines, the next lot are only due at 6 years old.

Anonymous wrote 16 weeks 4 hours ago

I have a 13 week old baby girl whom l gave birth to in Zimbabwe. She has had her vaccinations up to 10 weeks in Zimbabwe. Soon she will be due for her 14 weeks schedule. I am now back in South Africa full time. My question is: can she continue her vaccinations in South Africa and are children vaccinated against the same diseases in these two countries?

admin wrote 15 weeks 6 days ago

We're not sure about the schedule in Zim, but it's very likely the same as SA. We recommend that you contact your nearest baby clinic and take your immunization card with you.

Rey wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

Please advise which vacinations my child should get at 3 years, which will be on 08.04.2014

admin wrote 16 weeks 5 days ago

Hi Rey. According to the schedule, if your child has received the necessary vaccinations at 18 months, the next ones are only due at age 6.

Anonymous wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

Hi there. My baby is one year old and missed out his 9 month's measle injections. Is it too late for him to get them now? Have sleepless nights over this!

admin wrote 16 weeks 5 days ago

Hi there. Your child should still be able to get this vaccination; the earlier the better. But please ask your baby clinic for further medical advice.

selinah wrote 18 weeks 3 days ago

My child is one year old. When is her next visit to the clinic?

admin wrote 18 weeks 6 hours ago

Hi Selinah. According to the schedule, if your child should have gone at nine months and is due to go again at 18 months.

Mbali wrote 20 weeks 4 days ago

I take my child to a government clinic and I'm told that the chicken pox vaccine is optional. Is this true? I'm just worried as I hear different opinions on this and feel she needs to get it, but right now it is out of stock. Should I worry if she doesnt get vaccinated?

admin wrote 20 weeks 4 days ago

Hi Mbali. We're sure you can trust what your baby clinic says about this vaccine being optional. If you have concerns, you could check with another clinic or consult a paeditrician.

Nonhlanhla wrote 22 weeks 5 days ago

Hi there. My son is now 8 months and 3 weeks. According to the immunisations schedule after 14 weeks comes the 9 months injection. However, I’ve just have been told he missed the 6 months oral drops, which are apparently vitamin A. I am so worried and feel so guilty because I have heard people talk about this 6 month visit, but never took it serious because his card says 9 months. Please tell me I did not just put my son at risk for contracting some disease. Please advise.

admin wrote 22 weeks 5 days ago

Hi Nonhlanhla. If the vaccination is not on the list of essential immunisations, then it's most likely optional. We don't think you have placed your child at risk, but please check with your baby clinic or doctor if you are still concerned.

Anonymous wrote 32 weeks 6 days ago

I missed my son's 14-week injections and made another appointment for when he is 15 weeks, 4 days old. I read that for rotavis he needs to receive it before 14 weeks 6 days. Will missing his date almost two weeks have any effect on the injection working?

admin wrote 32 weeks 5 days ago

We're not entirely sure about the effectiveness after the appointed date, but we highly recommend that you check with your baby clinic. The earlier the better.

Anonymous wrote 34 weeks 8 hours ago

Zelda asked a while ago about giving purity custard instead of eggs. We were also told the same thing by our nurse and the reason they ask you to do it is to check if your child is allergic to eggs. As I understand it the 9 month vaccine comes in an egg-based solution, so if they are allergic you need to know before getting the shot. Our little one is allergic to eggs, so he has to have antihistamines the day before and go to the paed to have his shots so they can be there to monitor him afterwards.

 

hope wrote 34 weeks 5 days ago

My baby is 16 weeks old now; I've had an excellent professional service of my baby getting vaccinated in the comfort of our house. My gynae in Parklane recommended Sister Leratoh, who provides this mobile vaccination service in Jhb. I will be calling her again for my husband's travel vaccines.

Anonymous wrote 38 weeks 4 days ago

I have an 8 year old daughter and 6 year old son. The last time they went for vaccinations was when they were 18 months old, I think. How will this affect them and can they catch up now?

admin wrote 38 weeks 3 days ago

The next vaccination on the schedule after 18 months is at 6 years old, so your son is due for this one. Please check with your clinic about your daughter catching up the one she would have missed at 6.

Anonymous wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Thank you so much for this article. I'm new here in this country. My son is now 2 and half year old and I'm happy to report that he has all those up to date. Every country is different when it comes to vaccination; they do follow the same regime with slight differences. I know this because we've been in 3 different countries since he was born. I compared his card to this information provided here and he has everything.

Herbert Mawodyo wrote 41 weeks 5 days ago

My baby girl just went through her routine immunisation stages yesterday. MDG goals ahead.

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