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‘Immunisation can save your child’s life; keep their vaccines are up to date’

Parents have been urged to get their little ones immunised to protect them against preventable diseases.

To mark World Immunisation Week, which is observed every year from 24 to 30 April, healthcare practitioners are calling on caregivers to ensure that their child’s vaccinations are up to date.

Paediatrician Dr Adele Mathwin says immunisation protects children from dangerous diseases using their body’s natural defences to build protection.

Vaccines provide protection on an individual level and they also work at a population level by preventing and controlling infectious disease outbreaks, she explains.

In South Africa, children are vaccinated against various diseases from birth up to when they are 12-years-old.

When a child is born at a public or private hospital, the mother is given a 'Road to Health Booklet,' which is designed to keep track of the child's vaccination schedule.

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Children are vaccinated against polio, measles, haemophilus influenza type b (Hib), hepatitis B, pertussis (whooping cough), etanus (lockjaw), diphtheria, tuberculosis (TB), as well as viruses that can cause meningitis or pneumonia.

Vaccination against the coronavirus is also available to children 12 years of age and older.

Immunisations are free of charge at all government health facilities.

"The ultimate goal of vaccination is to actually eradicate a lot of these diseases altogether," says Dr Mathwin.

She says every child deserves the best protection they can get against life-threatening illnesses.

The more people we get vaccinated, the more knowledge and the more drive there is to get these vaccines, the better for everyone.

Dr Adele Mathwin, Paediatrician – Mediclinic

I think it's important that we need to stick to the schedule and finish all of the potential vaccines to give every child the best protection we can.

Dr Adele Mathwin, Paediatrician – Mediclinic

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Immunisation can save your child's life; keep their vaccines up to date'

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