Last Updated on June 17, 2022 by Parentology
With the advancements in medical technology, many deadly diseases that were once common can now be prevented through vaccinations. Immunisations are important for protecting your child, so it’s crucial to make sure that your little one is up-to-date on his shots.
Why are vaccinations important?
Immunisations are one of the most important steps in keeping your child healthy. By vaccinating your child against common childhood illnesses, you help him to build up immunity and reduce his chances of coming down with these illnesses.
Also, vaccines not only protect vaccinated individuals but also unvaccinated members of the community through herd immunity. Herd immunity occurs when a large percentage of a population is immune to an infection, which makes it difficult for the disease to spread. This prevents outbreaks and protects those who are unable to be vaccinated.
Do you know which childhood vaccinations your child needs in Singapore?
What are the mandatory childhood vaccinations needed in Singapore?
Under the National Childhood Immunisation Programme (NCIP) in Singapore, vaccinations are provided against:
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Hepatitis B (HepB)
- Diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DTaP)
- Poliomyelitis (IPV/OPV)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
- Pneumococcal disease (PCV)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Only vaccinations against diphtheria and measles are compulsory by law.
The NCIP is carried out by the following:
- National Healthcare Group (NHG) polyclinics
- National University Polyclinics;
- SingHealth (SH) polyclinics;
- Youth Preventive Services Division (YPSD);
- Health Promotion Board (HPB), and
- Private medical practitioners
1. BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) vaccine
The BCG vaccine is a vaccine that is used to prevent tuberculosis (TB) in adults and children.
TB is a serious infection caused by bacteria. It mainly affects the lungs, but can also spread to other parts of the body.
BCG is the most widely used TB vaccine in the world. The BCG vaccine is given as a shot into the skin on the upper arm or on the back.
2. Hepatitis B vaccine
Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It spreads through direct contact with bodily fluids or blood of a carrier.
The hepatitis B vaccine is given in three doses, and it’s very effective in preventing the disease.
3. DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis) vaccine
The DTaP vaccine helps protect your child against four potentially deadly diseases: Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), and polio, which can be fatal if left untreated.
The contagious bacterial infection diphtheria mainly affects the throat, heart, and nerves. It can then lead to abnormal heart rhythms, paralysis, and even death.
Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, affects the body’s muscles and nerves. This causes muscle spasms that can affect one’s breathing, which is fatal. The bacteria that cause this condition generally enter through a cut or puncture wound from a contaminated object.
Acellular pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is highly contagious and can cause serious illnesses.
The DTaP vaccine is given to babies at 3 months old, followed by two more doses at 4 and 5 months old. Booster shots are given at 18 months and between 10-11 years old.
4. Inactivated Poliovirus (IPV) vaccine
Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly virus that affects the nervous system. It invades the body through the mouth via food or water containing infected human faeces or from infected saliva. The virus then spreads to the brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis. There is no cure for polio, but it can be prevented with immunisation.
The IPV vaccine is made from three types of poliovirus that have been killed (inactivated). It is given as an injection of 3 doses into the arm or thigh from 3 months to 5 months old.
5. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a serious and potentially deadly infection in young children, causing meningitis, pneumonia, and sepsis.
The Hib vaccine is given in 3 doses from 3 months to 5 months old.
6. Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine
Measles, mumps, and rubella are caused by viruses that spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Serious complications can occur, such as pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), or even death.
MMR vaccine protects against all three of these diseases. It is given as a two-dose series to children at 12 months old and again at 15 to 18 months old.
7. Pneumococcal disease (PCV) vaccine
Pneumococcal disease is a serious illness caused by bacteria.
PCV vaccine is given at 3 months old and 5 months old. Another booster will be given to your child at 12 months old.
8. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
There are many different strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), some of which can cause genital warts, while others can lead to cervical and anal cancer.
HPV is passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
The HPV vaccine in Singapore is recommended for females aged 9 to 25 and 9 to 26 years respectively. For girls aged 9 to 13 years, 2 doses are recommended at the interval of 0 and 6 months. For girls aged 14 to 26 years, three doses are recommended at the interval of 0, 1-2, and 6 months.
Side Effects of Vaccines
Side effects of most vaccines are usually mild. They include fever as well as pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site.
Inject to Protect Your Little One
Regardless of the shots your child gets, be sure to keep track of their immunisation schedule and make sure he gets his follow-up shots, if needed. Vaccination schedules vary depending on a child’s age, health history, and other factors, so it is important to work with a healthcare professional to develop the best plan for each individual child.
No one knows when an unexpected health emergency will happen. Other than vaccinations, ensure kiddo is well-protected with medical insurance so that you can enjoy a greater peace of mind.
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