By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr Michelle LIM Associate Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Every child in Singapore is vaccinated according to our National Childhood Immunisation Schedule.

Immunisation is an important way to protect your child from certain diseases that can be avoided. The basis of vaccination is to make us immune to a disease before it has the chance to make us sick. Below are some answers to commonly asked questions about vaccines given to infants and toddlers.

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How Do Vaccines Work?

Getting more information about immunisation will help you make informed choices.

Vaccines are made from the same viruses (or parts of them) that cause disease. However, in vaccines, the viruses are altered in such a way that they cannot cause illnesses. The vaccines are introduced into our bodies, usually via injection. Our immune system then reacts by making antibodies that give us immunity. While some vaccines give us immunity for life, others may require repeated booster shots to maintain immunity.

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When Is It Not Suitable for My Baby to Be Vaccinated?

Consult a doctor before preparing your child for childhood vaccination in Singapore.

Most babies are fit for immunisation, but if your baby is currently having a high fever or has had a previous serious reaction to certain vaccines, you may need to consult a doctor for further advice. Avoid live vaccines like MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) or polio if your child’s immune system is weak as a result of illness or medical treatment.

Are There Any Side Effects of Vaccines that I Should Be Aware Of?

It’s normal for your baby to cry a little after the injection, but this should not last longer than a few seconds. Your baby might feel a little sore, and there may be a slight redness and even a small lump over the injection site, which should all clear within a few days. Your baby might also have a slight fever for a day or two after the injection. Some parents are concerned about the link between the MMR vaccines and autism, however, there is no scientific evidence to support this belief. Do consult a doctor if you have any concerns.

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How Can I Pay for These Vaccinations?

Full subsidies* for vaccinations under the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS) are available for Singaporean children at CHAS GP clinics and polyclinics.

*Applicable for certain vaccine brands. Please refer to for the latest subsidised vaccine brands.

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When Should My Baby Get Vaccinated?

Take note of the childhood immunisation schedule to know when to vaccinate your child.

Under the National Childhood Immunisation Programme (NCIP), these are the times when your baby will receive the vaccines.

The immunisation programme protects children from 12 diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), Hepatitis B and Diphtheria. Learn all about these vaccines in 12 Essential Childhood Vaccinations.

Today, vaccines are combined into a single injection. These 5-in-1 or 6-in-1 vaccines means fewer injections for children. To learn more about these, check out Immunisations for Your Baby.

Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your child a healthy start.

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