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​It is Vaccination Week and the City is urging all parents and guardians to ensure their children are fully immunised according to the state schedule.
PARENTS and guardians in Joburg have been urged to ensure their children receive all the routine vaccines, which are administered free of charge at clinics, during Vaccination Week.

Vaccination is free at City clinicsVaccination is free at City clinicsVaccination Week, which runs from 23 to 28 April, is observed this year under the theme “An unimmunised child is one too many. Give polio the final push”.

Nkosinathi Nkabinde, the spokesperson for the City’s health and social development department, says: “Parents should note that the immunisation schedule has changed in the last three years and that all children aged 12 years should receive their last dose of tetanus and diphtheria.”

He urges parents to ensure that they receive the new vaccine schedule. Immunisation is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions and prevents between two and three million deaths every year.

Since the beginning of February, health workers have been visiting places of care to vaccinate children aged between 18 months and 35 months with PCV 13. This vaccine provides protection against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria which cause ear infections, meningitis or infections of the lining of the brain, and pneumonia or infection of the lungs.

This is a new vaccine that has been introduced into the childhood immunising programme to replace the previous PCV 7.

“Parents who have got children in crèches that are still to be visited are urged to sign the consent for their children to be vaccinated as no child will be vaccinated at a crèche without the parent’s consent,” he says.

“This drive is ending on 31 May. Parents and caregivers are urged to take their children to the health facilities to get their vaccines free of charge.”

Since the start of the campaign, 62 percent of the children in the target group of 32 972 children have been vaccinated in Johannesburg.

From infants to senior citizens, immunisation prevents debilitating illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, pneumococcal disease, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea and tetanus.

Because there are gaps in vaccination coverage, diseases like pertussis, measles and polio are making a comeback, he says. “Disease outbreaks affect everyone.”

“It is never too late to be immunised and catch-up vaccination is offered to all children who are not up to date with the immunisation schedule.”

For more information, contact any of the City’s clinics or call the health and social development department on 011 407 6845/29.

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