That is the big argument.

 This argument has probably been around since the first recorded inoculation in China against smallpox in the 10th century. That is a long time ago. They used a method called variolation – nasal insufflation – snorting it up the nose. Imagine trying to get an one year old to snort powder up their noses. Don’t think that is going to happen. In 1545 there was an smallpox outbreak in India and from there vaccines were developed.

 Understanding the difference between vaccines, vaccinations, and immunizations can be tricky. Below is an easy guide that explains how these terms are used:

  • A vaccine is a product that produces immunity from a disease and can be administered through needle injections, by mouth, or by aerosol.

  • A vaccination is the injection of a killed or weakened organism that produces immunity in the body against that organism.

  • An immunization is the process by which a person or animal becomes protected from a disease. Vaccines cause immunization, and there are also some diseases that cause immunization after an individual recovers from the disease

This is how the current Vaccination schedule looks like in South Africa:

** At birth in hospital:

  • Polio drops (0)

  • BCG injection (vaccine against TB- please read about possible effects at bottom of the page)

  • Hep B dose 1 (This is often given in the private hospitals. It is required, if Infanrix-hexa is the choice of vaccine at 6 weeks)

** 2 weeks:

  • General baby check-up and weigh. This is important because all babies loose weigh initially and babies should be back at birth weight at 2 weeks.

  • Mommy check can be done

  • Questions and concerns are dealt with

  • Discussion about vaccinations due from age of 6 weeks

6 – 8 weeks:

  • Questions and advise

  • Baby check-up

  • Vaccinations:

  • Prevenar (1st dose)

  • Rotarix (1st dose)

  • Infanrix-hexa / Hexaxim (1st dose)

10 – 12 weeks:

  • General check-up

  • Vaccinations:

  • Infanrix-hexa / Hexaxim (2nd dose)

14 – 16 weeks:

  • General check-up

  • Vaccination:

  • Prevenar (2nd dose)

  • Rotarix (2nd dose)

  • Infanrix-hexa / Hexaxim (3rd dose)

6 months:

  • General check-up

  • Vitamin A drops

9 months:

  • General check-up

  • Vaccinations

  • Rouvax

  • Prevenar (3rd dose)

  • Menagra (from 9 months on-wards. Not given together with others, 1 month later, Booster dose then 3 months later)

12 months: 

  • General check-up

  • Vaccinations

  • Varilrix

  • Avaxim (1st dose- 2nd dose to be given 6 months after first dose)

15 months:

  • General check-up

  • Vaccinations

  • Priorix/ Trimovax

  • Prevenar (4th dose)

18 months:

  • General check-up

  • Vitamine A drops

  • Vaccinations

  • Infanrix-hexa / Hexaxim (4th dose)

  • Avaxim (2nd dose if 1st dose was given at 12 months)

2 years:

  • General check-up

  • Vitamin A drops

4 – 6 years: 

  • General check-up

  • Vaccinations

  • Infanrix or Adacel quatra or Boostrix

  • Priorix

Other optional extras: (all optional extras)

  • Vaccinations:

  • This is for cervical cancer, genital wards

  • Cervarix (Female: > 10 yrs = given at 0, 1, 6 months)

  • OR 

  • Gardisil (Females: 9-26 yrs and Males: 9-17 yrs = given at 0, 2, 6 months)

***Currently in the private sector, we are unable to receive EPI (SA) funded vaccines for now, as the permits are not being renewed. This means that all vaccines used in private clinics, will be ordered privately, but it can be claimed from medical aid for those with medical aids or paid cash for those without. It all depends on your medical aid and the plan that you are on.

 What are the possible side-effects of vaccinations?

The likelihood of these side-effects have reduced dramatically within the last couple of years, due to newer and better vaccinations.

However, these are the most common possible side-effects that cauld occur within 24-48 hours post-vaccination:

  • Redness, warmth and swelling at the site of immunisation

  • Increase in body temperature

  • Sleepiness

  • Irritability and persistent crying

  • Disinterest in food

  • Body rash

Here is a brief explanation of uses of vaccines:

OPV Oral polio vaccine

Pentaxim Diptheria, Tetanus, accellular Pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b and Polio

HBV Hepatitis B

Infanrix-hexa(6-in-1 injection)-Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Polio, Hepatitis B

Hexaxim (6-in-1 injection)-Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Polio, Hepatitis B

dT Diptheria, Tetanus

PCV (Prevenar) Pneumococcal Vaccine: Prevention against Pneumococcal bacteria which can cause pneumonia, septesimia, otitis media and meningitis which could be fatal in children.

Synflorix Pneumococcal Vaccine: Prevention against Pneumococcal bacteria which can cause pneumonia, septesimia, otitis media and meningitis which could be fatal in children.

Rotarix Prevention against Rota-virus (gastro in babies and children)

Rouvax Measles vaccine

Varilrix Chickenpox vaccine (It is recommended that this is given on its own and not together with

Rouvax (measels) on same day)

Avaxim Hepatitis A vaccine

Priorix Measels, Mumps, Rubella

Menagra Meningiococcal bacterial vaccination

Gardasil The only Quadrivalent HPV vaccine (HPV= Human Papillomavirus)

  • Gardasil will protect against HPV 6, 11, 16 + 18- this means against Cervical, Vulvar and Vaginal Cancers and Genital warts.

Cervarix An HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine

  • for protection against HPV 16 + 18- meaning against Cervical, Vulvar and Vaginal Cancers and Genital warts

Part 2 – Other ingredients in the vaccines

By cbadmin