Childhood Immunisation Program
Comprehensive Protection For Your Child
Childhood immunization protects your child against serious infections
The benefit of childhood immunisation is not just for immediate protection but also for the future. There are infections that can lead to lifelong complications and sometimes, can even be fatal.
Comprehensive vaccine against 6 major diseases
Traditionally, multiple vaccines of various types had to be given to protect against some potentially serious infections. This is associated with discomfort and pain due to the many injections needed. Furthermore, it may be inconvenient to visit the clinic so many times to get the vaccination done.
Today, "5-in-1" and "6-in-1" vaccines are available to make vaccination more convenient, requiring less injections and better tolerated. Instead of 9-14 injections, your child now only needs 4 injections to cover against 6 major diseases. These newer formulations offer protection against 5 or 6 diseases into a single vaccine. They have been used worldwide and proven to be both effective and safe.
The 5-in-1 vaccine protects against Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus (DPT), Polio and Haemophilus Influenza type B (Hib) while the 6-in-1 vaccine offers the same protection with the addition of Hepatitis B.
Diphtheria and Pertussis are transmitted through droplets in the air from person to person. Diphtheria can lead to breathing problems, paralysis and heart failure while Pertussis, which is also known as whooping cough, can lead to pneumonia, seizures and brain damage. Both can potentially lead to death. Tetanus is contracted through skin cuts and wounds. It leads to muscular stiffness and spasms and is fatal in 1 out of 10 cases.
Polio affects mainly children under the age of three. It is highly infectious
and easily spreads through contact and poor hygiene. It affects the nervous
system causing paralysis and death especially if the muscles needed for
breathing are affected.
Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib)
Haemophilus influenza type B usually strikes children under the age of five. It is transmitted through contact with mucus or droplets from the nose and throat of infected individuals. Haemophilus influenza type B can lead to meningitis (inflammation of the brain), blood stream infections, pneumonia, and, joint and bone infections.
Hepatitis B is very infectious and is contracted through contact with the blood or body fluid of an infected person. It causes liver damage, liver cancer and potentially death. Globally, the risk of contracting Hepatitis B is highest in South East Asia.
Childhood immunisation starts at birth
In Singapore, the BCG vaccine for Tuberculosis and the first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine are given soon after your baby is born. Subsequently, your baby needs regular immunisations at the family clinic, polyclinic or paediatric clinic.
The National Childhood Immunisation Schedule is designed to ensure that your child is given the best possible protection from serious infections. Hence, it is important that you ensure your child is immunised according to the recommended schedule. Information on the recommended schedule can be found at here.
If your child misses an injection, you should bring him/her to the doctor for the immunisation as soon as possible. Your child is at risk if he/she is not fully immunised.
A number of optional vaccines have been developed to provide further protection against other common diseases. These include vaccines against rotavirus and chicken pox.
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea and vomiting among babies. It is highly infectious and spreads through contact with contaminated objects and infected individuals. It causes diarrhoea that could lead to severe dehydration. In Singapore, rotavirus is the leading cause of diarrhoeal hospitalisations among children.
Chicken Pox is another highly contagious disease caused by varicella zoster virus. It spreads easily through contact with infected individuals and droplets in the air. It causes rash, itchiness, fever, loss of appetite and joint aches. It can therefore disrupt schooling activities.
Talk to your doctor today
It is best that you discuss the need for these vaccines with your family doctor and make a decision on whether they would benefit your child.
More information on some of these vaccines can be found at
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