Do you know what immunisations are mandatory for your baby here in Singapore? Read this article to find out...
What are the mandatory vaccinations your baby requires?
As mums and dads, we’ve all heard about the importance of immunizing our children against certain illnesses. Your child’s doctor would have also had chat to you about why your little one should be vaccinated.
Immunising children — especially against common childhood diseases like chickenpox, mumps or rubella — is recommended by almost all health professionals because getting any of these diseases could make your little one very ill.
Organisations such as the Health Promotion Board (HPB), Singapore and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend childhood immunisations for many reasons, like the following: Immunisation protects your little one against serious diseases that can have some pretty nasty complications.
Immunising your child can actually help protect other children too, especially if they are not immunised themselves for whatever reason. Also, if enough kids are vaccinated against a certain disease, the chances are that the disease may be eradicated. In Singapore, there are some immunisations which are mandatory for all children, while others are optional.
Some vaccines are mandatory and some are optional. Speak to your child’s doctor for more information
The vaccinations currently recommended to children in Singapore include:
- Hepatitis B
- Pertussis (DTP)
- Poliomyelitis (Oral Polio Vaccine)
- Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR).
The diphtheria and measles vaccinations are compulsory by law and are available for free at the local polyclinics.
Optional immunisations (Chickenpox, Influenza, Rotavirus, Hepatitis A, Meningococcal and Pneumococcal) are available at a fee with your doctor.
Read on to find out more about these important jabs.
Vaccinating your baby can protect him from potentially harmful diseases
Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine (MMR)
The MMR vaccine is given to your baby when he or she is around 12 months old, with a booster at age 12.
Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus (DPT) Vaccine
Your baby will be given 3 doses of the DPT vaccine, from months 3-5. This 3-in-1 baby immunisation is to protect your child against Diphtheria, Whooping cough and Tetanus.
- Diphtheria is a very serious disease that can cause breathing problems, paralysis or heart failure.
- Pertussis causes spells of coughing that can make it difficult to eat, drink, or breathe.
- Tetanus, also called lockjaw, is caused by bacteria that is commonly found in soil. When this germ gets into an open cut or wound, an unprotected person can get tetanus, which creates serious muscle spasms that can be strong enough to snap the spine.
BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin)
Your baby will be given a weakened version of the BCG virus at birth. This jab protects your baby tuberculosis (TB).
Hepatitis B Vaccine
The hepatitis B vaccine is given to your little one in 3 doses: the 1st will be at birth, the 2nd dose at 1 month and the 3rd at 6 months.
Vaccinating your child has minimum side-effects which are much less harmful than contracting the actual disease
Poliomyelitis (Polio) Vaccine
Poliomyelitis is caused by the polio virus and mainly affects young children. The virus lives in the throat and intestinal tract and is spread through contact with the stools of an infected person.
When infected, children can become paralyzed. While Singapore was declared polio-free in 2000, polio is still present in some countries, so the risk of getting this disease is still there, which is why it’s important to give it to your little one.
The first 3 doses are given when your baby is 3, 4 and 5 months old. Boosters are given at 18 months, 6 and 11 years.
Do make sure your little one follows a strict personal hygiene routine after getting the polio vaccination, as the virus particles are passed out through the faeces for at least 6 weeks.
Mums and dads, if you want to find out more about your baby’s mandatory and optional immunisations, do speak to your child’s paediatrician, who will also be able to talk to you about any worries you may have about these jabs too.
You could also have a look at the Singapore Health Promotion Board website.