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Health And Welfare

Child vaccinations need a boost

As 2024 swings into gear, City Health urges parents to check their children’s vaccination status, and to get those important jabs done at their nearest clinic before their young ones return to, or start their ECD or school career. 

South Africa’s vaccination schedule sees most vaccinations administered in the first year of a child’s life.

 The schedule also requires booster doses at the age of six and 12.

 Children are issued with the Road to Health booklet soon after birth – this document helps keep track of their vaccination status.

 Over the past two years, City clinics recorded the following vaccination statistics:

 

Period

Fully immunised under 1yr

Hexavalent –  4th dose

Td dose at 6yrs

Td dose at 12 yrs

July 2021 – June 2022

37 639

34 930

16 241

7 126

July 2022 – June 2023

29 736

30 029

12 915

5 779

 The drop in the number of child vaccinations in the various categories is of concern, and it’s imperative that we turn the tide. Vaccinations are critical to the health and well-being of our children, and to mitigate the risk of serious illness or complications. Less than a year ago, we had to navigate a measles outbreak in the metro. That should serve as a reminder of the importance of timely vaccinations, and booster doses.

 So as your preparation for the new school year continues, please also make time to ensure that your child’s vaccinations are up to date. If you are unsure of anything, ask our clinic staff who will be able to assist,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

 USEFUL INFORMATION FOR CAREGIVERS

Vaccinations are safe and effective. If you have any concerns about vaccine safety, please talk to the health care worker.

South Africa follows the World Health Organisation’s vaccination guidelines, which means administering vaccinations that provide protection against diseases like polio, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, meningitis, pneumonia, hepatitis, and rotavirus (which causes diarrhoea )and BCG (to prevent severe Tuberculosis). The full schedule is available here: 

·       In the public sector, children receive 16 immunisations between birth and the age of 12. Of these, 14 are administered in the first 18 months of their lives.

·       Children who are not up to date with the vaccination schedule, can still get the vaccinations

·       Documents required for vaccinations are the caregiver’s ID, the child’s birth certificate and their Road to Health booklet

·       If you do not have the documents, you can still visit the clinic and the child will be vaccinated

·       If you have lost the Road to Health book, inform healthcare workers so that a copy of the booklet can be issued

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