New Parent? See The Revised Nigerian Immunization Schedule
When babies are born, they inherit specific types of antibodies from their mothers.
These antibodies help them fend off different diseases. The antibodies are also nature's way of protecting babies when they're most vulnerable.
However, starting around six months of age, these antibodies start to diminish, and almost completely disappear by the time your baby is one year old. In the ideal situation, babies should start to make their own antibodies i.e. the beginning of their immune system, as they increasingly become exposed to the diseases that the maternal antibodies had previously protected them against.
After access to clean water and breastfeeding, immunization is the most highly effective intervention for protecting babies from infectious disease.
Vaccines are either parts of the viruses or bacteria (called antigens) or weakened live viruses. Vaccines are given to babies before the mother's antibodies completely disappear. And most babies get up to 20 vaccines by the time they are one.
Vaccine preventable diseases account for approximately 22% of child deaths in Nigeria, amounting to over 200,000 deaths per year. Some Nigerian parents do not realize the importance of taking their children for vaccinations. These vaccinations are provided for free thanks to many international and local NGOs and the Nigerian government itself. You can enquire from friends and family about the nearest local government health center that provides immunization. There you can find out what time and what day, you should take your child for immunization.
On immunization days, you will be given a card that will help health practitioners and yourself keep track of the vaccines your baby has taken and will take.
As vaccines for other diseases are developed and public health statistics of childhood diseases are analysed, the national programme is changed.
As a new Nigerian parent it can be tough to keep track of all the vaccines your newborn needs. To make things easier for you, we have also outlined the revised immunization schedule below;Last Updated: January 2017