Vaccinating your child is essential to protect him/her from dangerous infectious diseases. Many essential vaccines can be obtained free of charge from Sri Lankan public hospitals.
Essential vaccines are given to a baby during the first 24 months. Booster doses follow throughout childhood. It is important that you keep track of your child’s vaccinations and take him/her to receive the scheduled shots on time.
The first vaccine, given usually within 24 hours of birth, is BCG, to protect your baby against TB meningitis. A small red swelling usually occurs in the injected area. This gradually subsides in a few weeks, leaving behind only a tiny scar.
The Triple Vaccine (against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Whooping Cough) follows, usually given at 2 months, along with the Hep B, Hib and Polio vaccines. Booster doses of these vaccines follow at 4, 6 and 18 months.
At 9 months your baby will be given a vaccine against Measles
At 15 months your baby will be given the MMR vaccine against Mumps, Measles and Rubella. Your baby will also be given the Jap- B- Encephalitis vaccine in his/her second year.
There are many other optional vaccines that you may also want for your child such as; Chickenpox, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B. Talk to your pediatrician about this, especially if you hope to travel outside Sri Lanka with your baby. Different countries may require other vaccines.
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