Must know: National Childhood Immunisation Programme
Keep track of your children’s immunisation schedule here!
We've all heard of the saying "prevention is better than cure" and this is especially true of childhood diseases such as chickenpox and measles.
When it comes to preventing these and other common childhood illnesses, immunisations are considered by medical experts as the most effective method.
What is childhood immunisation?
According to the Health Promotion Board (HPB) of Singapore, childhood immunisation involves giving your child a vaccine to protect him or her against a particular disease or several diseases.
What this vaccine does is encourage your child's immune system to produce antibodies against the particular disease(s). These antibodies help your child fight the disease(s) if he/she comes into contact with it.
While some vaccines (once the full course is completed) will give your child lifelong immunity against a particular disease (e.g. the Hepatitis B vaccine), other vaccines have to be given again later in life to maintain your child's immunity to the disease (e.g. tetanus). This top-up dose is called a booster.
Although there is some debate among some parents about whether or not to vaccinate children, medical experts in general, including the WHO and HPB, recommend vaccinating children against certain diseases which are considered to be vaccine-preventable, such as polio, mumps and measles.
Various vaccines are given to children at different ages because they won’t be quite as effective if given earlier or later than the recommended age.
Then there are also vaccines that need to be given in series, in order to be more effective.
Other vaccines like measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), can be given in one single shot for extra convenience.
Immunisation schedule for Singaporean children
Singapore follows a national immunisation schedule to ensure that all children stay healthy.
If you are unsure about whether your child has received his or her necessary vaccines yet, check out this immunisation schedule from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
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When should you delay your child's immunisation?
There are certain instances when medical professionals may advice you to delay your child's vaccination. This may happen when:
- Your child is sick.
- Your child has a weak immune system.
- Your child recently had blood transfusion.
- Your child had a bad reaction to a previous vaccine.
If you have any uncertainties or questions about your child's immunisations, do speak to a medical professional without delay.
What are your thoughts on childhood immunisations? Do share them with us by leaving a comment below.