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Vaccination Schedule in India

childs-healthcare Basics of immunization

Getting baby vaccinated or immunized is an important part of baby’s healthcare. Read on to learn about important vaccinations which are given to babies and children in India and common vaccination schedule followed in India.

What is Vaccination?

The human body has an automatic defence system to counter health related issues. This mechanism, known as natural or innate immunization is passed down from parents to offspring and varies from species to species. Factors affecting natural immunity are age, social condition, nutrition and fitness of the individuals. When the body is attacked by harmful pathogens, the human body releases enzymes and phagocytes, which serve as the second line of defence for human beings.

Need for Vaccination

Vaccination provides “acquired immunity” to human beings and hence should be mandatorily administered to infants. Although cases of infants affected by diseases like Polio have thinned out in India, constant effort must be made to ensure vaccination for protection. This should be done since the lack of vaccination may revive the virus or bacteria responsible for a particular disease.

Important Vaccinations in India

Several vaccines have been mandated by the Indian Government and these services can be availed at reduced rates in many government run hospitals. The following section describes the importance of certain vaccines:

BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin) Vaccine

Tuberculosis is a very harmful bacterial disease which can be countered by the vaccination of infants with the BCG Vaccine. It is generally injected to the outer skin of the arm of new born babies. However, the immunity offered by BCG Vaccine is temporary and may not last beyond 15-20 years.

OPV (Oral Polio) Vaccine

Poliomyelitis or Polio causes paralysis in children and adults. Hence, the OPV is a live attenuated vaccine that must be given to all children at birth. Moreover, the Government of India has introduced “Pulse Polio Immunization Program” under which children up to the age of 5 years are given polio vaccine free of cost twice every year.

DPT Vaccine

Also known as Triple Antigen, DPT Vaccine provides immunity against three fatal diseases: Diphtheria, Pertusis (Whooping Cough) and Tetanus. It is given as an intramuscular vaccine to infants when they are 1.5 months, 2.5 months and 3.5 months old. When children are 1.5 years old, they are given a second dose of DPT Vaccine. On reaching the age of 5, children are given a dose of the Double DT Vaccine that contains germs to prevent diphtheria and tetanus. When the child reaches the age of 10, the tetanus vaccine is repeated.

MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) Vaccine

This vaccine provides protection against Measles, Mumps and German measles. In India one dose of monovalent Measles vaccination is given after 9 months. Another dose of MMR vaccine is given at 12-15 months of the age.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Primarily the liver is affected by the Hepatitis B virus. Thus the Hepatitis B Immune Globulin and the Hepatitis B Vaccine is provided to babies at birth, if the mother is a carrier of HBsAg or HBeAg virus. If the mother is tested negative for the presence of the aforementioned viruses, the Hepatitis B Vaccine is given to babies at regular intervals on completion of 6, 10, 14 and 24 weeks after birth.

Ideal Vaccination Schedule Followed in India



Primary Vaccinations


BCG + Oral Polio


Oral Polio + DPT + Hepatitis B*

1.5 months

Oral Polio + DPT + Hepatitis B*

2.5 months

Oral Polio + DPT + Hepatitis B*

3.5 months


9 to 12 months



Booster Doses


DPT + Oral Polio

1.5  to 2 years


5 years

Tetanus Toxoid (TT)

10 years

Tetanus Toxoid (TT)


Vitamin A

9,18,24,30 and 36 months

Vaccination should be mandatorily provided to all infants, not just to protect the current generation but also to ensure a healthy future generation. Vaccination is considered as 21st century’s greatest development in the field of medicine and public health. Several fatal diseases like diphtheria, measles and polio that killed and paralyzed infants and adults worldwide have been successfully curbed by the appropriate forms of vaccinations.

It is an important way to induce “herd immunity” among the masses, which prevents the spread of diseases from person to person. Lastly, if people adhere to the mandatory vaccination programs, the costs associated with health related issues significantly reduce. By opting for affordable vaccination programs, people can prevent the wastage of huge sums of money and most importantly prevent deaths of their children and loved ones.

Which vaccinations are given to a baby immediately after birth? How to make sure that vaccinations are not missed? What kind of immunization schedule is followed in India?
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MMR vaccine is administered to immunize your child against measles, mumps and rubella. This is a very important vaccine ..
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Trupti.2 years ago
It is ok to get your baby vaccinated from government hospital. Government hospitals provide proper schedule of vaccination.
Kavita.2 years ago
Is it safe to give vaccinations to babies in government hospitals? My baby's first vaccination of 1.5 months is due and want to find out which is the best place to get her vaccinated.
Reema.2 years ago
Vaccinating baby is helps to protect her from dreadful diseases.
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