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Vaccination Schedule For Babies: When To Immunize And What To Expect?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 16 May 2023, Updated on - 16 June 2023

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Infants are born with some immunity from their mothers but this protection fades with time. Vaccinations help to build their immune systems and protect children from vaccine-preventable infections like measles, polio, tetanus and meningitis. Parents are frequently anxious about the safety and efficiency of immunisations but medical authorities believe that vaccines are both safe and efficient in illness prevention. Delaying or avoiding immunisations can put children and others at risk of dangerous infections. Following the recommended vaccination regimen can provide the best protection for babies.

Why Are Vaccinations Important For Babies?

These are some reasons why vaccines are important for children:

  • Vaccines protect against potentially life-threatening diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, polio, whooping cough, hepatitis B and many others.
  • Vaccines activate the immune system to produce antibodies to combat specific diseases. Immunised babies develop protection against those deadly diseases.
  • Vaccines serve to limit the transmission of infectious diseases within communities, which can lead to disease outbreaks.
  • Vaccines are a cost-effective way to prevent disease and a wise investment in a child's health.

Understanding the Vaccination Schedule

Understanding the immunisation schedule can assist parents in ensuring their child obtains the necessary vaccines at the proper time to prevent various illnesses.

  • A time chart is provided by the paediatrician for every child, which parents must thoroughly follow.
  • Within 24 hours of birth, infants should receive their first immunisation.
  • Most vaccines are administered in a series of doses and it is critical to adhere to the prescribed schedule.
  • Catch-up immunisations are also included in the schedule for infants who missed prior doses.
  • Delaying or missing immunisations can put newborn babies at risk of serious disease.
  • The schedule may differ significantly depending on a child's health history or geographic area.

Recommended Vaccinations for Babies

Vaccines for newborns

The following vaccines are commonly administered shortly after birth, usually during the first few days of life:

1. Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine: It is suggested that the first dose of this vaccine be administered within 24 hours of birth.

2. Vitamin K: A vitamin K injection is given to newborns to assist prevent bleeding issues.

Vaccines for babies

The following are some of the most important immunisations for infants:

1. Rotavirus Vaccine - Given at 2, 4 and 6 months of age to protect against rotavirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting.

2. Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT) Vaccine - Given at 2, 4 and 6 months to provide protection against diphtheria, pertussis & tetanus.

3. Hib Vaccine - Given at 2, 4 and 6 months to protect against Haemophilus influenzae type b.

4. Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine - Given at 2, 4 and 6 months to prevent any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria.

5. Polio vaccine - Given at 2, 4 and 6 to 18 months to prevent polio disease.

6. Influenza Vaccine - Given annually after the age of six months to protect against seasonal flu.

7. MMR vaccine - 12 and 15 months to protect against measles, mumps and rubella.

8. Varicella vaccine - 12 and 15 months to protect against chickenpox.

9. Hepatitis A vaccine -12 and 23 months to protect against hepatitis A.

The above vaccine schedule may vary depending on the country and the specific vaccination program followed. It is advisable to visit a paediatrician for a tailored immunisation schedule for the child.

What Can Parents Expect During Vaccination Appointments?

Here are some key factors to make the process go more smoothly:

  • Parents should bring their child's immunisation record to the appointment and provide a history of any previous vaccine reactions.
  • Infants would be given most vaccines through injection. The healthcare professional will explain any potential adverse effects and how to deal with them. Parents can provide comfort to their children by using soothing words and a favourite toy or blanket.
  • Infants may develop side effects such as fever or discomfort at the injection site, however, it is temporary. Parents can follow the given recommendations on how to deal with them.
  • Parents should continue to check their kids for any unusual symptoms following vaccination and report any concerns to their healthcare professional.
  • It is also critical to plan follow-up appointments for any missed deadlines.

In conclusion, immunisations are an important part of baby-preventative healthcare. While some parents may have questions about vaccine safety and effectiveness, it is critical to communicate these concerns with a healthcare provider and make informed decisions.

If you have any concerns about your child's vaccination schedule, consult with a doctor to clarify your doubts.

Consult Apollo's Expert Paediatrician



1. Why are vaccines necessary?

Vaccinations help prevent infants from potentially fatal infections. They function by assisting the body in developing immunity to specific diseases.

2. What immunisations should infants be given and when should they get them?

Hepatitis B, rotavirus, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcal, poliovirus, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccines are all recommended for babies. Infant vaccinations normally begin at two months of age and continue until 18 months of age.

3. Are immunisations safe for infants?

Vaccines are typically considered safe for newborns. Like any medical treatment, vaccines can have some side effects, however, they are mild and temporary. Moreover, vaccinations have far outweighed the hazards since they can protect infants from deadly infections.

4. Can parents postpone or avoid immunisations for their children?

While parents have the right to make healthcare decisions for their children, postponing or refusing immunisations can put infants at risk of fatal illness. To make informed decisions, parents should discuss any concerns they may have with their healthcare professional.

5. What should parents do if their child skips a vaccine appointment?

If an infant misses a vaccination visit, schedule a make-up appointment as soon as possible.

Consult Apollo's Expert Paediatrician


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.


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