The human body is designed to fight a lot of diseases thanks to its inbuilt defense system. However, newborn babies are highly susceptible to infections and diseases because their immune systems are not fully developed yet. Vaccination protect the baby from many preventable diseases and complications, thus becomes a priority for Parents to follow the vaccination schedule for the baby from birth itself and safeguard the baby against preventable illnesses such as polio, diarrhea, pneumonia, etc
As per records, many preventable diseases such as tetanus, polio, hepatitis, diarrhea, etc can be prevented by providing proper and timely vaccination to the baby. Many government organizations, WHO, Hospitals, and NGOs worldwide have been running several campaigns to make people aware of the benefits of immunization to newborn babies and eventually reduce the deaths of babies worldwide from these preventable diseases. The Universal Immunization Program (UIP) is a scheme by the Government of India under which the government provided vaccines for several diseases like polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, hepatitis B, rotavirus, and a few others.
The vaccine is a medicinal substance either prepared from a live or attenuated virus that is used to stimulate the immune system and produce antibodies to fight the disease against which the immunization is given.
After the smallpox pandemic and immunization of the same the WHO decided to have an Expanded Immunisation Programme and include other such vaccine-preventable diseases under the same wing. This was later adapted individually by various nations.
Universal Immunization Programme is an Indian government initiative following the WHO’s Expanded Immunisation Programme which was adopted in the year 1985 as a part of vaccinating the children and expecting mothers for vaccine-preventable diseases to promote safe motherhood and also reduce the under 5 mortality rate among the children.
This program became a unit of the National Rural Health Mission in 2005 under which all the PHC rural and urban were equipped with the vaccines and with the help of Public Health workers and ASHA workers, all the children under the age of 5 were immunized on regular basis as per the schedule.
The Universal Immunisation Programme gives a schedule of the vaccines to be administered from birth up to the age of 6 in children and also mentions the no of doses that needs to be given. This schedule was prepared after much research and is safe to follow.
You will be given a card that contains the exact information as to which vaccine should be given to the baby. You should carry this vaccination card each time to your pediatrician’s office.
Apart from the vaccine for children, the schedule also makes it important for all pregnant women to get Tetanus shots during pregnancy to improve their well-being at the time of pregnancy and childbirth and it has been noticed to reduce the mortality rate of women postpartum.
Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) has recommended a vaccination chart for the baby. As per the chart, these vaccines are supposed to be given at a certain age and some of these vaccines need to be given in 2-3 doses at different times to give complete protection against the said disease. Also, if injectable, each vaccine needs to be given at a specific site.
Here is all you need to know about the baby vaccination schedule depending on the age.
BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin) is a vaccine given against TB at birth or as early as possible till 1 year of age. Around 0.1ml (0.05ml until 1month age). The vaccine is given intradermally over the left upper arm of your child.
Hepatitis B (Birth dose) is given at birth or as early as possible within 24 hours after birth to prevent Hepatitis B. Around 0.5 ml of the vaccine is given intramuscularly on the inner side of the mid-thigh of your child.
Oral Polio Vaccine or OPV (first dose) is a vaccine for poliomyelitis prevention that is given at birth or as early as possible within the first 15 days. This vaccine is given to your child orally, with just 2 drops. It’s the initial dose and can be given for up to 5 years.
Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) -1,2 and 3rd doses are given at 6 weeks, 10 weeks & 14 weeks and can be repeated up until 5 years of age. This is also given as 2 drops orally.
Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) 1 & 2nd doses are given at 6 weeks & 14 weeks and can be given up to 1 year of age. Around 0.1 ml of the vaccine intradermally to the right upper arm.
Pentavalent vaccine - 1, 2 & 3rd doses are given for diseases like Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, and Hib. Each of these doses is given at 6 weeks, 10 weeks & 14 weeks respectively and if missed can be given up to 1 year of age. Around 0.5 ml is given to your child intramuscularly over the inner side of mid-thigh.
Rotavirus Vaccine (RVV) 1, 2 & 3rd doses are given at 6 weeks, 10 weeks & 14 weeks respectively and if missed it can be given at any time before 1 year of age. This vaccine helps gain immunity against rotavirus which can cause deadly diarrhea. Around 5 drops of the vaccine can be given orally.
Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) 1, 2 & Booster doses are given at 6 weeks, 14 weeks & 9 months respectively and if missed it can be given anytime before 1 year of age. This vaccine is given as a preventive for pneumococcal infections. Around 0.5 ml of the vaccine is given to your child intramuscularly on the inner side of mid-thigh.
Measles-Rubella (MR) 1st dose is given after 9 completed months up to 12 months of age. It can also be given up to 5yrs if not received at 9 - 12 months. This vaccine gives immunity against measles and rubella diseases. Around 0.5 ml of the vaccine is given to your child subcutaneously to the right upper arm.
Vitamin A (1st dose) is given when the child has 9 completed months but can be given up to 5 years of age. This is given to prevent Vitamin A deficiency. Around 1ml of the medicine is given to your child orally.
Japanese Encephalitis (1st Dose) is given to prevent the Japanese encephalitis disease. It is given at 9 completed months up to 12 months. It can be given even up to 15 years of age if missed earlier. This is an optional vaccine in most regions if your area isn’t endemic to Japanese encephalitis, with the pediatrician’s advice you can skip this vaccine. Around 0.5 ml of the vaccine is given to your child subcutaneously if it's a live vaccine and intramuscularly if it's a killed one over the left upper arm or inner side of mid-thigh respectively.
Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus (DPT) 1st booster dose is given between 16- 24 months of the baby or can be given up to 7 years of age. Around 0. 5 ml of the vaccine is given intramuscularly on the inner side of the mid-thigh.
MR or Mumps Rubella's 2nd dose is given between 16-24 months or up to 5 years of age. Around 0.5 ml of the vaccine is given subcutaneously over the right Upper arm.
OPV Booster dose is given between 16 to 24 months or can also be given at any time up to 5 years of age. Around 2 drops of the vaccine are given orally to your child.
Japanese Encephalitis 2nd dose can be given between 16-24 months of age or before 15 years of age provided the 1st dose was taken by the child. Around 0.5 ml of the vaccine is given to your child subcutaneously to the left upper arm.
Vitamin A 2nd to 9th doses are given first at 18 months (2nd dose) and then, one dose every 6 months up to the age of 5 years. Around 2 ml of the vaccine is given orally to your child.
Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus Booster (DPT) 2nd booster dose is given in between 5- 6 years of age or if missed can be given up to 7 years of age. Around 0.5 ml of the vaccine is given intramuscularly to the upper arm of your child.
Tetanus & Diphtheria vaccines are given at 10 years &16 years of age or can be given anytime by 16 years of age. Around 0.5 ml of the vaccine is given to your child intramuscularly over their upper arm.
We have summarizes the latest vaccination chart for babies in India 2022, recommended by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) below ( Updated on 10th July 2022)
OPV (oral polio vaccine) Dose 1
BCG Dose 1
Hep B Dose 1
DTaP/DTwP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) Dose 1
Rotavirus Dose 1
Hib (Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine) Dose 1
Hep B (Hepatitis B Vaccine) Dose 2
IPV (Injectable Polio Vaccine) Dose 1
PCV (Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) Dose 1
|At 10 Weeks|
DTaP/DTwP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) Dose 2
Rotavirus Dose 2
Hib (Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine) Dose 2
IPV (Injectable Polio Vaccine) Dose 2
PCV (Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) Dose 2
|At 14 Weeks|
DTaP/DTwP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) Dose 3
Rotavirus Dose 3
Hib (Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine) Dose 3
IPV (Injectable Polio Vaccine) Dose 3PCV (Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) Dose 2
|At 6 Months|
OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) Dose 2
Hep B (hepatitis B vaccine) Dose 3
|At 9 Months|
OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) Dose 3
MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine) Dose 1
|9 to 12 Months|
Typhoid CV (typhoid conjugate vaccine) Dose 1
|At 12 Months|
Hep A (Hepatitis A vaccine) Dose 1
All of the vaccines given exist today because of the extensive research and various trials, hence the chances of having grave side effects due to vaccines are pretty much next to impossible however after the vaccination there may be slight side effects which may include pain and mild swelling at the site of injection or a rise of temperature for a couple of days after the vaccination.
Some vaccines may cause some very specific side effects like in the case of the DPT vaccine there may be a mild soreness of the throat, low-grade fever, and cough after the vaccine is administered.
In some cases, there may be soreness in the region where the injection was given and also redness.
In most cases, the side effects will not last more than a couple of days. You can talk to your pediatrician if the medication can be given for low-grade fevers and if they recommend a cold or hot press at the site of injection. The management of the symptoms varies from one vaccine to another and you need to get a proper idea about the side effects of each of these vaccines.
Most of the hospitals and child-specific clinics have a consultant pediatrician and also a pharmacy with the vaccines. Also, vaccines are available in urban and primary health centers as well as government-based community hospitals.
You may get most of the vaccines in urban and primary health care centers and community hospitals by the government at a subsidized and sometimes free of cost.
The vaccines at private centers may be more costly and these costs vary for different vaccines and may also change based on the hospital or pharmacy that sells them. The below list represents the cost of various vaccines which are part of the vaccination chart for children
The actual costs differ depending on the city and the hospital as well so please check and confirm.
It is important to keep track of the baby's vaccination and visit the doctor as per the schedule mentioned in the pediatrician's vaccination chart. You should remember the following points before taking your child to the doctor for vaccination:
Disclaimer : Content presented here is for information purposes only, please consult with your doctor for any health queries
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