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"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." How true. By immunising your child against diseases, you are giving the best protection to your child
Childhood immunisation involves giving your child a vaccine to protect him/her against a particular disease(s). This vaccine encourages his/her 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.
Some vaccines give rise to lifelong immunity upon completion of the full course. Other vaccines have to be given again later in life to maintain your child's immunity to the disease (e.g.diphtheria and tetanus). This top-up dose is called a booster.
In Singapore, the National Immunisation Registry (NIR) monitors and ensures that each child gets his/her immunisation at the appropriate time. If a child misses any of his/her immunisations, the NIR will send a reminder letter to the parents.
All immunisations given at the polyclinic will automatically be updated into NIR's records. For immunisations given at the family or paediatric clinics, the doctor will keep NIR updated as and when immunisation is completed.
The NIR maintains the vaccination records for children from birth to 18 years of age.
Childhood immunisation provides:
Protection against serious diseases. These diseases can lead to lifelong complications and occasionally, can even be fatal.
Protection of all children. If enough children are immunised against a particular disease, the risk of it spreading from person to person is very low and the disease may be eradicated altogether.
The first immunisation starts when your child is born. The BCG vaccine for Tuberculosis and the first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine are given soon after your baby is born.
Subsequently, you will have to bring your baby for regular immunisations at the family clinic, polyclinic or paediatric clinic. If your child misses an injection, you should bring him/her to the doctor for the immunisation as soon as possible. Remember that your child is at risk if he/she is not fully immunised.
The National Childhood Immunisation Programme provides a recommended schedule for childhood immunisation against potentially dangerous childhood diseases. Please refer to these links for the immunisation schedule and more information on the childhood diseases.
Over the years, a number of new vaccines such as the ones listed below have been developed to provide protection against many other diseases. These include vaccines against:
Do discuss with your doctor if you are considering any of the above optional immunisations.
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This article was last reviewed on
Thursday, July 8, 2021
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