Is it too late when baby’s turned one for all the vaccines he’s missed?
When my baby was just a year old, it was a chaotic time in our lives. We moved twice, and somewhere between him reaching his developmental milestones and us unpacking boxes, hisimmunisation charts disappeared. I know he had all his shots in hospital after he was born, and he would surely have had the necessary jabs at his sixweek visit, but after that I’m not too sure. Can one start on a clean slate and repeat all the immunisations? Is it harmful to immunise twice against the same illness? Is it too late when baby’s turned one for all the jabs he’s missed? What should I do?

Sister Elsie De Klerk (clinic sister) answers:

Lost immunisation charts and parents that have run behind on the schedule are all in a day’s work for us nowadays.

Parents are so busy with their day-to-day responsibilities that it happens very easily, so we use every opportunity to get the baby or toddler’s immunisation up to date to ensure complete protection.

If you are unsure of previous immunisations, we’d rather treat it as if no immunisations have been given. It is not harmful to repeat immunisations.

Tuberculosis and polio jabs are given after birth at the hospital. Then there are three primary immunisations between six and eight weeks, with two repeats thereafter.

At nine months, baby is given a measles jab, and there is a repeated shot against pneumococcal diseases.

From nine months, optional chickenpox jabs can be administered and an optional hepatitis A shot at one year, with a repeat of the hepatitis A six to 12 months later.

The MMR vaccine is given at 15 months, and at 18 months the booster of the same vaccine that was given during the first three primary immunisations is given.

In your case, assuming that your baby got his shots just after birth and at six weeks, he would need only two of the three primary vaccinations as well as the nine-month jabs. After that the optional shots can be given, and the immunisation schedule can be completed at 18 months, with
the preschool shots being given subsequent to that.

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