Vaccinations: Because Your Health is Our Concern

Vaccines contain substances that are injected into the body to strengthen the immune system in its fight against various types of disease. They usually contain dead or weakened forms of a disease’s microbes that cause the body to build up an immunity against that disease. Protecting against disease with vaccines is effective and worthwhile as they help to prevent dangerous and potentially fatal infectious diseases, ensuring people of all races, ages and genders can stay healthy.
The medical team at Samitivej Hospitals has designed Total Health Solution programs based on specific health requirements for the following age groups:

Vaccines recommended for infants aged between 0–18 months

All infants should be vaccinated at birth in order to stimulate resistance and build up immunity to various dangerous diseases. Fortunately, recent medical innovations in the field mean that there is a comprehensive range of vaccines available to new-borns. Nevertheless, parents may consult with their physician regarding essential and additional vaccinations required at each stage of their young one’s life.
Essential childhood vaccinations
The Pediatric Disease Society of Thailand has released their vaccination policy in accordance with the Ministry of Public Health, outlining a number of vaccinations that are essential during childhood in order to build immunity at each stage of growth. The list of vaccinations is as follows:
  • The tuberculosis (BCG) vaccination should be given to new-borns and is usually injected into the left shoulder of the infant. The hospital in charge of the birth tends to administer this vaccination prior to the family returning home.
  • The hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination is a 3-time course of injections, with the first being administered at birth, the second at 1 month and the final injection at 6 months of age.
  • The diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccination consists of a 3-time course of injections administered at 2, 4 and 6 months, followed by a booster vaccination once the infant reaches 18 months of age. Then, at 4–6 years, infants can receive an additional, specially designed childhood DPT vaccination.
  • The polio vaccination involves orally administered medicine alongside a course of injections. Children should be given the drops orally 5 times in total, at 2, 4, 6, and 18 months and at 4 years of age. The injection offers a boost to the child’s immunity from the disease and is recommended to be given at 4 months of age.
  • The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) / Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccinations should be administered at 1 year of age, then again at 2-1/2 years of age.
  • The influenza vaccination should be administered annually, starting any time between 6 months and 18 years of age. The first vaccination, however, consists of 2 injections, given 4 weeks apart.
  • The HPV vaccination can be administered after the child reaches 9 years of age and protects against the human papilloma virus. This virus is a major cause of cervical cancer in females, being responsible for up to 70–90% of all cases.

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In addition to the basic program of vaccinations that are vital for a child’s health, there are some additional vaccines that should be administered. The following vaccinations are highly recommended:

  • The rotavirus vaccine can help protect children against this illness, and can be administered from the age of 2 years and 4 months onwards.
  • Pneumococcal vaccinations offer protection against pneumonia and meningitis. The PCV version of the vaccine should be administered at 2, 4 and 6 months of age, with a booster injection given when the child reaches 12-15 months of age. The PS23 form of the vaccination can be administered to children from the age of 2 onward.
  • The haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (DTwP-HB-Hib) involves a single injection administered on 3 occasions (aged 2, 4 and 6 months) and offers protection against 5 diseases, namely diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and meningitis.
  • The chickenpox vaccine is a 2-time course of injections given first at 2-1/2 years of age, and again between the ages of 4-6.
  • The hepatitis A vaccine is another 2-time course of injections, administered 6-12 months apart, beginning once the child reaches 1 year of age.
  • Dengue fever vaccines are recommended for children over the age of 9. These involve a 3-time course of injections, the second of which is given 6 months after the first, with the third given 6 months after that.

Advice related to childhood vaccinations

  • Parents should bring their child’s vaccination record book along with them to all appointments.
  • Always notify the doctor or nursing staff in charge should your child suffer from any allergies to medication or food.
  • If your child is suffering from a fever or any other acute illness, their vaccination should be postponed.
  • Keep your child at the hospital for at least 30 minutes after the vaccination to monitor for any potential reaction to the medication.
Age Vaccine % protection provided
New-born Tuberculosis vaccine >50
1st hepatitis B vaccine 70-95
1 month 2nd hepatitis B vaccine 90-95
2 months 1st diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine,1st polio vaccine, and 1st Hib vaccine diphtheria 97-100, pertussis 71-85, tetanus 100, polio 99-100, Hib 96-97.9
1st rotavirus vaccine 98
1st IPD vaccine 56-81
4 months 2nd diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine, 2nd polio vaccine, and 2nd Hib vaccine
2nd rotavirus vaccine
2nd IPD vaccine
6 months 3rd diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine, 3rd polio vaccine, and 3rd Hib vaccine
3rd rotavirus vaccine
3rd IPD vaccine 86.9-87.3
3rd hepatitis B vaccine
Flu vaccine (2 injections within the first year, each a month apart, then annually thereafter 70-90
9–12 months 1st Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine, with the 2nd to be administered 3 months-1 year later 95-96
12–15 months 1st MMR vaccine measles 98, mumps 66-95, rubella >95
After 12 months 1st chickenpox vaccine
4th IPD vaccine
2-time hepatitis A vaccine, administered 6 – 12 months apart 94-100
18th month 4th diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine, and 4th Hib vaccine
After 2 ½ years 2nd MMR vaccine
2nd chickenpox vaccine >90
4–6 years 5th diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine, and 5th polio vaccine 92-100
9 years Male HPV vaccine 90.41
Female HPV vaccine 98-100
11–12 years Diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine for older children 85-100

Vaccines recommended for those over the age of 18 years

Age Vaccine % protection provided
19–26 years Annual flu vaccine 50-70
Hepatitis B vaccine (should no immunity be identified upon screening) 80-100
10-year booster vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis diphtheria 95, tetanus 70, pertussis 100
Chickenpox vaccine (should no immunity be identified upon screening) 80-100
2-time measles, mumps and rubella vaccine measles 93, mumps 78, rubella 97
Hepatitis A vaccine (should no immunity be identified upon screening) 85
HPV vaccine, recommended for women under the age of 26 >90
27-64 years Annual flu vaccine
Hepatitis B vaccine (should no immunity be identified upon screening)
10-year booster vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
Chickenpox vaccine (should no immunity be identified upon screening)
MMR vaccine for those over the age of 40
Hepatitis A vaccine (should no immunity be identified upon screening)
Shingles vaccine 70 (in those aged between 50-59) , 64 (in those aged between 60-69)
Pneumonia vaccine 75 (Invasive Pneumococcal Disease) , 45 (Pneumococcal Disease)
Over 65 years Annual flu vaccine
Hepatitis B vaccine (should no immunity be identified upon screening)
10-year booster vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
Chickenpox vaccine (should no immunity be identified upon screening)
Hepatitis A vaccine (should no immunity be identified upon screening)
Shingles vaccine 64 (in those aged between 60-69)
Pneumonia vaccine

Vaccines recommended for specific groups

People suffering from chronic health disorders such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as pregnant women, are considered at high risk due to their weakened immune systems. Those planning on traveling abroad, including those taking part in a religious pilgrimage that is likely to involve visits to heavily populated areas, are also considered to be high-risk groups. 
Vaccines recommended for pregnant women
Advice Recommended vaccine Schedule
During pregnancy Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine
Diphtheria and tetanus

(Td) vaccine

1–2 injections during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, or a full 3-time course of injections in cases of no prior vaccination history
Flu vaccine 1–2 injections during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters
Postnatal Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine
Those residing in the same home as an infant under the age of 1 year Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine

Always consult your regular physician before receiving any vaccinations.

Vaccines recommended for diabetics
Recommended vaccines Schedule Advice
Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine A 1-time combined vaccine in place of a tetanus vaccine, which should be followed by a 10-year booster diphtheria and tetanus (Td) vaccine Protection against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
Pneumococcal vaccine (IPD) This vaccine should be given to patients over the age of 65 years, and it is advised that strains 13 and 23 be covered individually Protection for pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis
Flu vaccine A single annual injection Protection against the flu
Shingles vaccine A single vaccine given to those over the age of 60 years Protection against shingles
Hepatitis B vaccine A 3-time course of injections should be administered where no prior immunity has been detected Protection against hepatitis B
Vaccines recommended for people suffering from heart conditions
Recommended vaccines Schedule Advice
Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine A 1-time combined vaccine in the place of a tetanus vaccine, which should be followed by a 10-year booster diphtheria and tetanus (Td) vaccine Protection against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
Pneumococcal vaccine (IPD) This vaccine should be given to patients over the age of 65 years and it is advised that strains 13 and 23 be covered individually Protection against pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis
Flu vaccine A single annual injection Protection against the flu
Shingles vaccine A single vaccine given to those over the age of 60 years Protection against shingles

Always consult your regular physician before receiving any vaccinations.


Vaccinations recommended for those planning to travel abroad

When planning a trip abroad, there are a number of things to consider. One thing in particular that should not be overlooked is a suitable vaccination program, especially when travel plans involve visiting countries that are at risk of a disease outbreak. High-risk groups who are at greater risk due to their weaker immune systems generally include children and the elderly.
Receiving vaccinations to prevent disease and illness is a crucial part of any planning process. It is advised that you consult a doctor at least 4–6 weeks before you depart in order to allow your body time to build up immunity, and because some vaccines require multiple injections in order for them to be effective.

Vaccines recommended for those planning a pilgrimage to Mecca

Recommended vaccines Schedule Advice
Flu vaccine Annual injection
Diphtheria and tetanus (Td) vaccine 10-year booster Td vaccine (such as at ages 20, 30, 40, etc)
Meningococcal vaccine Receive one injection at least 10 days – but no longer than 2 years – before entering the country Considered for those planning on traveling to or residing in Central Africa, South of the Sahara Desert (African meningitis belt), or America
Yellow fever vaccine A 1-time injection to be administered at least 10 days prior to departure Considered for people planning on visiting areas at risk of a yellow fever outbreak in Africa or South America

9 essential tips regarding vaccines
  1. You should postpone your vaccination if you experience acute symptoms related to a chronic health condition, such as chest pain, palpitations or breathlessness.
  2. You should postpone your vaccination if you are suffering from a fever or experience an acute illness (vaccinations may still be carried out where the recipient has a common cold and a runny nose but does not have a fever).
  3. You should inform your physician if you have an allergy to neomycin, streptomycin and polymyxin B – or eggs – which causes breathing difficulties and inflammation on the body or face because some vaccines are likely to contain these substances.
  4. Pregnant women or women planning on a pregnancy within the next month should not be vaccinated with live vaccines (measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox vaccines) unless they are considered at high risk of an infection that could ultimately place the health of mother and baby at risk.
  5. Women who receive a live vaccination (measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox vaccines) should use birth control measures for at least one month after receiving the vaccine.
  6. Receiving a follow-up vaccination before the recommended time has elapsed may result in a lower than expected immunity.
  7. If there is a risk of an allergic reaction, patients should remain at the hospital and monitor their symptoms for 15 minutes after being vaccinated.
  8. Patients may experience localized pain, swelling, redness and bruising after being vaccinated but this is no cause for concern because such symptoms tend to go away after 1–3 days. Should you experience a low fever or muscle pain, you may medicate with pain relief drugs such as paracetamol.
  9. Always carry your vaccination record book with you as this will help medical staff when analyzing future immunity to disease.
Side effects and precautionary advice following a vaccination
  • Modern-day vaccinations tend to be extremely safe, however you may experience some minor side effects that tend to go away after 2–3 days.
  • Side effects differ according to the type of vaccine administered.

Inactivated (killed) vaccines usually result in immediate symptoms, especially fevers.

Active (live) vaccines tend to result in symptoms similar to those associated with the disease they protect against, but these are uncommon and generally only present themselves a few days after the vaccine has been administered. The 2 main types of post-vaccine side effects are:

  • Localized symptoms, such as pain, redness, inflammation and itching at the injection site.
  • General symptoms, including a fever, exhaustion and a rash.

You may treat any swelling by holding a warm compress on the affected area or by taking pain relief medication. Consult your physician should symptoms worsen or remain after 2–3 days have passed.

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