The 12 Week injection, as with the 8 week injection, consists of the following:
Immunisation against Diphtheria, Tetanus and acellular or whole-cell pertussis (DTP) and Haemophilus influenza type B combined. As well as, Hepatitis B (Hb) and polio. For more information on these diseases, please read our previous article on the 8 Week Injection.
At this point you will also be offered some optional extras:
- Rotavirus (drops)
- Pneumococcal conjugate (injection)
Rotavirus is the most common cause of childhood diarrhoea. One in four children with diarrhoea usually has rotavirus, even in developed countries. This vaccination prevents the most severe forms of the illness. It has recently been estimated that more than 140 000 children younger than 5 die each year as a result of this infection.
Pneumococcal conjugate is a bacterial infection. It is the most common cause of pneumonia and meningitis in children in South Africa. It is spread through sneezing, coughing or through direct oral contact with an infected individual. One in ten meningitis patients, who are not vaccinated, die each year and less than one in twenty recipients of the vaccine will experience side effects such as pain.
Government and the Private Sector
The Government Sector will only provide the vaccinations against the diseases mentioned at the top of this article. The optional extras do not form part of the National Department of Health’s EPI but you can pay for them privately. The optional extras are often expensive and not all medical aids cover them but are of huge benefit to parent and child.
How will my baby react to the vaccinations?
Parents can once again give their little ones paracetamol (panado/calpol) syrup if they have post-vaccination symptoms such as fever, crying or irritability. Other symptoms can include pain, vomiting and diarrhoea should you go for the optional extras.
It is very important that parents vaccinate their children for added protection against diseases that breastfeeding alone can’t prevent!