Vaccines for immunization make up some of the most important medications your newborn would need to lead a healthy life. According to the WHO, over half a million children under five die every year of Vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) in Africa. This number represents 56% of global VPD related deaths. Immunization is the key to preventing these deaths and helping children everywhere survive and thrive. Since its invention by Edward Jenner in 1796, vaccines have been used for prevention and curbing the spread of infectious, life threatening diseases. Vaccines are basically weakened forms of disease-causing microbes, its toxins or one of their surface proteins which when introduced to the body, stimulate the immune system to build up antibodies that can fight these diseases.
According to the current immunization schedule put out by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health, before the second birthday of a child, s/he should have been immunized with the optimum number of vaccine shots against 17 high-priority diseases including Polio, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria Tuberculosis, Tetanus, Measles, Whooping cough and Pneumonia.
When it comes to getting your newborn immunized, timing is of utmost importance. To ensure you keep an optimal track of when your newborn should get s/her vaccine shots, here’s the current immunization schedule.