Must-have jabs that will protect your baby

Don’t wait ― safeguard your precious bundle from life-threatening diseases with the necessary jabs!

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Infectious disease alert! As of end July 2016, the number of tuberculosis cases had jumped by 76, bringing the total cases to date to 827. At this rate, overall TB infections in 2016 may surpass the 1,402 cases reported last year, according to figures from the Ministry of Health’s Weekly Infectious Diseases Bulletin.

          And while Singapore hasn’t seen recent cases of polio or diphtheria, these very infectious illnesses still occur in other countries. All it takes is a plane ride for these diseases to arrive in our community. Take, measles, for example. Measles is not very common here because babies are vaccinated against the disease, yet it’s still common in many parts of the world. Measles is easily brought into our country by unvaccinated travellers who get infected while abroad.

          As babies are more vulnerable to severe complications ― even death ― from infectious diseases than older kids and adults, you’d want to protect bubba from contagious diseases that may threaten his life. In any case, most of the recommended vaccines come in a combination jab — MMR for measles, mumps and rubella and DTaP for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

“There is no scientific evidence to support the link between vaccines and autism. Parents should not be alarmed.”

          And if you’ve come across articles claiming that there’s a link between immunisations and autism, so you have doubts about such jabs, rest easy, assures SmartParents expert, Dr Low Kah Tzay.

          Says the paediatrician at Anson International Paediatric & Child Development Clinic, “There is no scientific evidence to support that [link]! Researchers working on the cause and treatment of autism have not found any link between vaccination and autism. Parents should not be alarmed.”

          The National Childhood Immunisation Programme (NCIP) offers every Singaporean child fully-subsidised immunisations against 10 contagious — and life-threatening — diseases. So, make an appointment to get your child immunised to prevent him from catching these infections today! Incidentally, booster shots ― an additional dose of the vaccine to “boost” the immune system ― are given to the child when the “strength” from the first dose of the vaccination wears off.

1) Tuberculosis (TB)

WHAT This potentially fatal airborne disease — transmitted through tiny respiratory droplets from an infected person — can cause lung disorders. TB can also affect the brain, lymph nodes, kidneys, bones and joints! Teach your little one to always cover his mouth when he sneezes or coughs.
TYPE OF VACCINATION Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine (BCG).
WHEN TO GET At birth. If your child was not vaccinated at birth, visit a public hospital, instead of a polyclinic, to get him a BCG jab.

2) Diphtheria

WHAT Bacterial infection that affects the membranes of your nose and throat, causing breathing difficulties. In its advanced stages, it can even lead to heart damage! This jab is compulsory under the law.
TYPE OF VACCINATION DTaP and Tdap.
WHEN TO GET First dose at 3 months, second at 4 months and the third when baby is 5 months old. Booster shots at 18 months and when he’s Primary 5.

3) Pertussis (whooping cough)

WHAT Pertussis ― which is especially deadly for children under 1 ― can cause violent and uncontrollable coughing fits and affect the sufferer’s respiratory functions.
TYPE OF VACCINATION DTaP and Tdap.
WHEN TO GET First dose at 3 months, second at 4 months and the third when baby is 5 months old. Booster shots at 18 months and when he’s Primary 5.

4) Tetanus

WHAT This bacteria is found most commonly in soil, dust and faeces. Infection occurs when an open wound comes into contact with contaminated saliva, poop or dirt. Look out for symptoms like jaw cramps, headaches, painful muscle stiffness, jerking or seizures.
TYPE OF VACCINATION DTaP and Tdap.
WHEN TO GET First dose at 3 months, second at 4 months and the third when baby is 5 months old. Booster shots at 18 months and when he’s Primary 5.

Click to learn more about the other conditions the NCIP covers…