Know the importance of vaccines

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Vaccines do not weaken the body’s immune system (1). [Image: Supplied]
Vaccines do not weaken the body’s immune system (1). [Image: Supplied]

Vaccines do not weaken the body’s immune system1

Protect your child against infections

Immunisations also called vaccines work with the immune system to protect your child against serious diseases.2 Certain diseases may only need one vaccination where others need follow-up injections (boosters) to help maintain successful immunisation.2 

How do vaccines work? 

When your child goes for an immunisation, he/she gets injected with a weakened form of a bacteria or a virus from the actual disease. This alerts the body’s immune response causing it to produce more antibodies or start the process of enhancing the immune system. If the body gets infected with the actual disease, the immune system is prepared to fight off the infection.2

An immunisation schedule

It is important to keep your child’s vaccinations up to date. You can do this by following an immunisations schedule, which will show the disease and the age your child has to go for an injection. You don’t have to remember all of this by yourself, your doctor or clinic sister will help and guide you through the process.

The SA immunisation schedule3

What to expect?

The most common reactions to an immunisation are:2

  • Soreness or redness around the injection site
  • Low-grade fever

Tips for managing your child’s fever

  • Dress your child in lightweight clothing and use lightweight bedding4
  • Give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration4
  • Sponging with lukewarm water is no longer recommended, as it can cause the child too much discomfort4
  • Consider using fever medication if your child has a temperature above 38ºC4
  • Seek medical advice if your child’s condition worsens4

SA Immunisation Schedule Abbreviations

SA Immunisation Schedule

    Suppositories are an effective alternative to oral treatment.5

    • Not swallowed or taste-masked;6 no spitting out, ensuring full dose is delivered
    • Ease of administration, especially in uncooperative6,7 or drowsy infants and children
    • Ideal in cases of nausea and vomiting6,7
    • Avoid stomach irritation6,7
    • Alternative to oral6
    • Can be administered to a sleeping child
    Inserting suppositories


    1. Offit PA, Quarles J, Gerber MA, et al. Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infant’s Immune System? Pediatrics 2002;109:124-129.
    2. WebMD. Immunizations and Vaccines. [online] [cited 23 October 2020] Available from: URL:
    3. Western Cape Government. Immunisation. [online] [cited 23 October 2020]. Available from: URL:
    4. Whittaker C. Paediatric fever. Prof Nurs Today 2011;15(5):17-21.
    5. Havaldar VD, Yadav AV, Dias RJ, Mali KK, Ghorpade VS, Salunkhe NH. Rectal Suppository as an effective alternative for oral administration. Research J Pharm 2015;8(6):1-8.
    6. Kulkarni R, Dave N, Bartakke A, Nair A, Kadam PP, Thatte UM, et al. Pharmacokinetics of rectal compared to intramuscular paracetamol in children undergoing minor surgery. Ind J Pharmacol 2007;39(4):187-191.
    7. Jannin V, Lemagnen G, Gueroult P, Larraouture D, Tuleu C. Rectal route in the 21st century to treat children. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 2014;73:34-49.
    8. Safe Medication. Your Trusted Source of Drug Information. How to Use Rectal Supoositories Properly. [online] 2013 [cited 6 July 2020] Available from
    Litha Pharma.

    Litha Pharma (Pty) Ltd. Reg. No.: 1994/008717/07. 106 16th Rd, Midrand. Tel. no: 087 742-1860. LP3249 09/2020

    This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Acino.

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