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 and more. 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 
OPV (0)
Intradermal injection to right upper arm
Drops by mouth
6 weeks
OPV (1)
RV (1)
DTaP-IPV-Hib-HepB (1)
PCV 13(1)
Drops by mouth
Liquid by mouth
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
10 weeks
DTaP-IPV-HIB-HepB (2)
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh
14 weeks
RV (2)
DTaP-IPV-Hib-HepB (3)
PCV 13(2)
Liquid by mouth 
Intramuscular injection to the left thigh 
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
6 months
Measles (1)
Subcutaneous
9 months
PCV 13(3)
Intramuscular injection to the right thigh
12 months
Measles (2) Subcutaneous
18 months
DTaP-IPV-Hib-HepB (4) Intramuscular injection to the left arm
6 years (both boys and girls)
Td (1)
Intramuscular injection to the left arm
12 years (both boys and girls)
Td (2)
Intramuscular injection to the left arm
*Just in schools: 10 years - HPV X2 (Feb and Aug) - Intramuscular
 
Source: National Institute for Communicable Diseases  
 
BCG – Tuberculosis vaccine (Bacille Calmette-Guerrin)
OPV – Oral polio vaccine
DTaP-IPV-Hib-HepB – Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis-injectable polio-Haemophilus influenzae b- Hepatitis B vaccine (Hexaxim)
Td – Tetanus, reduced dose diphtheria vaccine (Diphtavax)
RV - Rotavirus vaccine (Rotateq)
PCV - Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevenar 13)
HPV - Human Papilloma Virus
 
(0) - Birth dose which does not count as part of primary series
(1) - First dose in a series
(2) - Second dose in a series
(3) - Third dose in a series
(4) - Fourth dose (a booster)
 
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 12-15 months and again as a booster at 4-6 years. Keep a record of your child’s vaccinations as schools may ask for proof of immunisation when you register.
 
Catch-Up Schedules
Ideally, all vaccinations should be given according to the schedule but for various reasons this is not always possible. The schedule should be completed as soon as possible, but each situation involving missed vaccinations is unique and must be evaluated individually, as a number of factors play a role (such as how many doses are required, whether the vaccine is still required at that age or whether it is still safe to give it).

Note: The above schedule is in line with the national expanded program on immunization (EPI) schedule in use from 2016. Multiple other schedules are available from private providers. 

Comments

Anonymous wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Hi there. I know of a little girl who has not had her shots since 15 months. She is almost 4 years old now. What can be done in this instance as I am aware that this affects her being accepted into school?

Tamlyn wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

Although the Education Department requires children to be vaccinated before entering the formal schooling system, it is up the parents to decide whether or not to vaccinate their children. For those choosing to vaccinate, but having missed out on a few, they are able to take their children to a state or private clinic to get them updated.  In your case you can point the parents to our Immunisation Schedule, which will give them all the necessary information they require to get their child school-ready.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

My 16 month old has been in contact with a child who has measles, should I be worried?

Tamlyn wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

Our children grow up surrounded by many germs and viruses, and if your child has been vaccinated she should be fine, but please speak to your doctor or clinic if you are concerned, or if your child displays any of the following symptoms: a fever, dry cough, sore throat and runny nose, red and inflamed eyes or tiny white spots with bluish-white centres on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek. For more information read our Measles faqs 

Mitesh Bhowan wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

We have lost our 4 year old son's clinic card during our last house move. We are now looking at moving again and the new schools list the clinic card as a requirement. How do we manage this? He has had all his vaccines from birth till now. We are really worried that schools wont accept him.

Tamlyn wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

The clinic where your son recieved his shots should have a record of these, so you can request this record from them. Your doctor should also have a record of the shots, and schools will often accept a letter from the doctor confirming this. 

Anonymous wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

My son is 24 weeks and I just got an email from Dischem saying that he is due for his next vaccination. From my knowledge the next one is supposed to be at 9 months in November. Is there a 24 weeks vaccinations that I might not be aware of? #Newmom

Tamlyn wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

According to the above schedule, the next vaccinations would be at 9 months. However, we would advise you to check his clinic / Road to Health card, to make sure that his vaccinations are up to date. 

Phumla Sweetness wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

The last time my son went for immunization he was 2 years and six months. When must he go again?

Tamlyn wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

If all of his vaccinations are complete, he should only need to go again at six years. We would advise you to check his clinic / Road to Health card, to make sure that all vaccinations have been done. 

Anonymous wrote 1 year 51 weeks ago

My child is 3 years 5 months now and her last vaccination was when she was 18 months. When I check her clinic card it says 6 years is the next vacciantion. I just want to double check if this is correct or I am missing any injection between 4 years and 5 years. Please help.

Tamlyn wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

According to the above schedule, there are no vaccinations needed between 18 months and 6 years, provided your child hasn't missed any vaccinations. But if you are concerned, it would be best to take her Clinic Card to your nearest clinic to confirm that all is in order. 

Bavs wrote 1 year 51 weeks 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 1 year 51 weeks 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 2 years 3 weeks 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 2 years 3 weeks 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 2 years 5 weeks ago

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

Tamlyn wrote 2 years 5 weeks 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 2 years 5 weeks 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 2 years 5 weeks 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 2 years 6 weeks ago

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

Tamlyn wrote 2 years 5 weeks 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 2 years 6 weeks 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 2 years 6 weeks 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 2 years 6 weeks 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 2 years 5 weeks ago

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

Anonymous wrote 2 years 7 weeks 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 2 years 6 weeks 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 2 years 8 weeks 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 2 years 7 weeks 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 2 years 8 weeks 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 2 years 8 weeks 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 2 years 8 weeks 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 2 years 8 weeks ago

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

Noluthando wrote 2 years 9 weeks 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 2 years 8 weeks 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 years 10 weeks 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 years 9 weeks 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 2 years 12 weeks 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 2 years 11 weeks ago

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

Anonymous wrote 2 years 12 weeks 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 2 years 12 weeks 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 2 years 12 weeks 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 2 years 12 weeks 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 2 years 14 weeks 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 2 years 14 weeks 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 2 years 21 weeks ago

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

Tamlyn wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

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

Gamu wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

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

Tamlyn wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

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

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