Planning Your Children’s Vaccinations

Given the vaccine schedule’s complexity, it can be challenging to understand which vaccines your children need and when. Here are some tips on how to stay on top of planning your child’s immunisation.

1. Follow the schedule

For your child to be fully immunised and protected, it’s important to get the timing right when planning vaccinations. Different vaccines are given at varying intervals in order to safely give your child’s body the reminders it needs to build appropriate immunity.

When planning vaccinations, mark down all immunisation dates as soon as possible. It can be easy to forget immunisation dates when you have to deal with work, household chores and so on. Try marking the appointments on your calendar, smartphone or computer. Some private clinics can also provide reminders. Remember to refer to the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) if you are unsure.

Children with fever
If your child has an on-going fever, it is likely that his or her immune system is not in the best condition. In this case, your doctor might advise you to postpone the vaccination until your child recovers. If your child has a cold, but no fever, it is still possible for your child to be vaccinated.

2. Consult the doctor if you miss a date

If your child misses a dose, inform your doctor immediately. He or she will advise you on what to do next. Generally, your doctor will continue with the subsequent vaccine doses.

3. Consider combination vaccines – less pain more gain!

In fact, your doctor might talk to you about combination vaccines to save on time and visits. Combination vaccines are multiple vaccines combined together into a single vaccine so that your children get protection from multiple diseases in fewer shots. This makes immunisation less painful and more convenient.

4. Dress your child right for the vaccination

If your child is getting a vaccination on the thigh, wear easy-to- take-off pants, or if your child is getting vaccinated on the upper arm, wear a sleeveless or short sleeved shirt.

Avoid chunky, padded or tight-fitting clothes with lots of buttons and straps. They take time to remove and put back on.

Choose clothes that you can remove or roll up easily.

5. Preparing your toddler before the visit

If your child is more than 2 years old, it could help to inform them about the immunisation before their appointment.

You should try to maintain a soft, nurturing-tone throughout. Answers questions honestly, and use words that lessen anxiety – for example, “you may feel pressure, squeezing, or poking”. Do not use words such as “pain, hurt, or sting”. You can say, “You need the vaccine to stay healthy. The medicine will be put in your arm with a needle. You will feel a quick prick.”