Immunisation is a way of protecting against infectious diseases. It is a personal choice.
There are benefits and risks associated with all treatments. You need to research the issue to ascertain if this is the right option for you.
A vaccine is a preparation which causes the body's immune system to produce antibodies against disease-causing organisms. These antibodies protect the person against the disease.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) strongly recommend immunisation to protect your child. The immunisations against 10 diseases begin when your child is 6 weeks and can be completed with seven visits to a Doctor or Nurse.
Childhood Immunisations are given according to a schedule of ages and include:
- Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP)
- DTaP and Haemophilus influenzae type b[hib] (DTaP/Hib)
- Hib and Hepatitus B (HIBHepB)
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
- Polio (OPV)
There are also vaccines available that are NOT on the childhood schedule, these include:
- VARILIX (chicken pox vaccine)
- GARDASIL (vaccine to protect against cervical cancer)
- PNEUMOVAX (Pneumococcal disease from 2 years and adults)
- PREVENAR (Pneumococcal disease in children 6 weeks to 9 years)
INFLUENZA VACCINE - Frequently Asked Questions:
Why should you get immunised against influenza every year?
The influenza strains circulating change every year and the vaccine is changed to match. For the best protection, immunisation against influenza is necessary every year.
When should people be vaccinated?
The optimal time for high-risk groups is March to April, in advance of the peak period of influenza activity, (usually between May and September) however outbreaks may commence before or after these months.The vaccine is only free to eligible people until the 30th June.
Can you get influenza from the vaccine?
No. The vaccine has been made from influenza virus that has been concentrated, inactivated, then broken apart. It cannot cause influenza as the vaccine does not contain any live viruses.
Why do healthy people need influenza immunisation?
Being fit and healthy will not protect you from influenza, as it spreads very easily and up to 1 in 5 of us still get influenza every year. By being immunised, you can protect yourself and lessen the chance of bringing it home to a baby, older relative or someone with a medical condition who could develop serious complications from influenza.