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Frequently Asked Questions About Vaccines For Children

Prevention is always better than cure and when it comes to your baby’s health, any disease may turn worse if not taken seriously. That is why you should not take immunisation for granted as a lot of diseases can be prevented if vaccines are administered properly on your child.

If you’re groping in the dark or have no idea where to start, we’ve listed down the most important immunisation information you should keep in mind.

Are vaccines safe?

Vaccines have been proven to be safe, although some may cause side effects and different reactions. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks before the immunisation and inform him of any adverse or unusual reaction after the process. 

Are vaccines effective?

According to the World Health Organisation, no vaccine is 100% effective. However, 85% to 95% of administered childhood vaccines are effective—which still shows that the majority of the kids who get immunisation benefit from it.

What are the required vaccines for your child?

According to the Singapore Medical Journal, vaccines against diphtheria and measles are mandated by the Singaporean government:

  • For diphtheria, the vaccine should be given within 12 months of the child’s birth or within 12 months of the child’s arrival in Singapore if the child is born outside the country and there is no proof of prior vaccination.
  • For measles, on the other hand, the vaccine should be given between one to two years old or within 12 months after the child’s arrival in Singapore if born outside the country and there’s no proof of prior vaccination.

What are the vaccines required before I can register my child in school?

Other vaccines are required before your child can register in a primary school in Singapore, including vaccines for diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, haemophilus influenzae, pneumococcal disease and combination vaccines for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus and measles, mumps, and rubella.

When should your child be vaccinated?

While some vaccines give lifelong protection to your child, others will have to be given in doses and boosters to be more effective.

Vaccines are administered on your child at different times—some are advised to be given earlier than others. Below is the Health Promotion Board’s updated immunisation schedule as of 2019.

Upon birth

  • Tuberculosis: BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin)Hepatitis B: HepB (Hepatitis B vaccine, Dose 1)

1 month old

  • Hepatitis B: HepB (Hepatitis B vaccine, Dose 2)

3 months old

  • Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus: DTaP (Paediatric diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine, Dose 1)
  • Poliovirus: IPV (Inactivated polio vaccine, Dose 1)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b: Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, Dose 1)
  • Pneumococcal Disease: PCV (Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Dose 1)

4 months old

  • Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus: DTaP (Paediatric diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine, Dose 2)
  • Poliovirus: IPV (Inactivated polio vaccine, Dose 2)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b: Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, Dose 2)

5 months old

  • Hepatitis B: HepB (Hepatitis B vaccine, Dose 3)
  • Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus: DTaP (Paediatric diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine, Dose 3)
  • Poliovirus: IPV (Inactivated polio vaccine, Dose 3)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b: Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, Dose 3)
  • Pneumococcal Disease: PCV (Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Dose 2)

12 months old

  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella: MMR (Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, Dose 1)
  • Pneumococcal Disease: PCV (Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, 1st booster)

15 months old

  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella: MMR (Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, Dose 2), which can be given between 15-18 months

18 months old

  • Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus: DTaP (Paediatric diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine, 1st booster)
  • Poliovirus: IPV (Inactivated polio vaccine, 1st booster)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b: Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, 1st booster)

10 to 11 years old

  • Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus: TdaP (Tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine, 2nd booster)
  • Poliovirus: OPV (Oral polio vaccine, 2nd booster)

The vaccine against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, is also recommended to be given to girls aged 9 to 26 years old with three doses administered between 0, 2, and 6 months.

When should I not vaccinate my child?

Ensure that your child does not have a fever before his immunisation. Some other instances when it’s not advisable to have her vaccinated is when she has an allergic reaction or has just gotten better from another illness as her immune system is still compromised. Also, if your child has an adverse reaction to a previous immunisation, make sure to tell her doctor about it first.

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