Vaccines work! Care for your children and your community | Western Cape Government

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2019
Associated GC: 
(Western Cape Government)

Vaccines work! Care for your children and your community

25 April 2019

Give your child and community a better future by using the free immunisation services offered by the Western Cape Health at clinics and schools.

Immunisation is an easy way to support your child’s development, to prevent diseases and to limit the spread of disease within your family and your community. The World Health Organisation estimates that annually the lives of at least three million children are saved because of immunisation.

While we are commemorating World Immunisation Week from 24 to 30 April, the Western Cape Department of Health calls on parents and guardians to take care of their children’s health by taking them for immunisations and giving consent for children to be immunised.  

Immunisation

Vaccines are given to children by oral drops or an injection in the arm or leg. When a vaccine is administered, the body’s immune system is stimulated to create antibodies to protect the child against a specific disease or virus. By maintaining high rates of immunisation in our communities, we can prevent deadly diseases from returning to and spreading in those communities.

The World Health Organisation emphasises that vaccines are completely safe and thoroughly tested before being approved for use. Contrary to a fraudulent paper that was published in 1998, there are no links or evidence that any vaccines can cause autism. In fact, when children are not vaccinated, they can suffer serious injury, such as paralysis, blindness or even death, when contracting a polio, measles, or whooping cough. The only side-effects a child might experience after an immunisation, are a sore arm and sometimes a mild fever.

Why must children be immunised?

Immunisation prevents deadly diseases like polio, measles, diphtheria, and whooping cough. It protects your child and ultimately your community from these diseases.

Keep track of immunisation

The Road to Health booklet helps you to record immunisations received. If you lose the booklet, you can ask your healthcare worker or clinic for a duplicate. Use the immunisation schedule in the Road to Health Booklet to ensure your child receives their vaccinations at the right time. If your child missed a scheduled immunisation, talk to a health care worker at a clinic.

Give permission

In the time leading up to immunisation campaigns at schools, parents or guardians will be asked for permission for children to receive immunisation. By giving consent, you position your child to learn and grow without the hindrance of falling ill with the most common and potentially deadly diseases that affect children.

The Department also calls on the public to support the survey on the effective coverage its immunisation campaign offers. Between February and May 2019, trained fieldworkers are visiting randomly selected households to collect information that will be used to adapt the current immunisation strategy to the benefit of all.

Anyone with questions about the survey, can call 084 406 3362 or 079 511 6727. To make sure your child’s immunisation is up to schedule, visit your nearest clinic, because vaccines work!

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Media Enquiries: 

Leensie (Streicher) Lötter
Communications Officer
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 072 224 7376
E-mail: maria.streicher@westerncape.gov.za