What are the mandatory childhood vaccinations required?

mandatory childhood vaccinations

What are the mandatory childhood vaccinations required?

Vaccinations are one of the most effective tools we have to safeguard children from potentially life-threatening diseases. But with a plethora of vaccines available, navigating the mandatory ones can be confusing. This blog is here to help you understand childhood vaccinations. It aims to provide you with information so that you can make informed decisions for your child’s health.

The Importance of Vaccinations

  • Vaccines work by introducing a weakened or inactive form of a virus or bacteria to the body.
  • This triggers the immune system to develop antibodies, essentially creating a shield against the actual disease.
  • This keeps your child safe and also makes it more difficult for diseases to spread in the community.
  • The World Health Organization says vaccines save many lives each year by preventing diseases like measles, diphtheria, and tetanus.
  • In India, the National Immunization Schedule requires children to get mandatory vaccinations for their health and well-being.

Mandatory Childhood Vaccinations

The Indian government, through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has established the NIS program. They are currently implementing this program nationwide. Here’s a breakdown of the mandatory vaccinations included in the NIS:

  • BCG Vaccine (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin): This shot protects newborns from TB, a serious lung infection, given shortly after birth.
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine: This three-dose series protects against hepatitis B, a liver infection that can lead to chronic liver disease and even cancer. Healthcare providers administer the first dose at birth, followed by doses at 6 weeks and 6 months of age.
  • Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV): This vaccine protects against polio, a crippling and potentially fatal viral disease. Administer the vaccine at 6, 10, and 14 weeks old. The healthcare provider administers additional doses at 18 months and 5 years old.
  • DTP Vaccine (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis): This combination vaccine protects against three bacterial diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). Three doses are given at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age, followed by boosters at 18 months and 5 years.
  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine: This shot protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, three very contagious viral diseases. Administer two doses, with the first dose at 9 months of age and the second dose at 18 months.
  • JE Vaccine (Japanese Encephalitis): This vaccine is very important in areas where Japanese encephalitis is common. Mosquitoes spread this virus and it can affect the brain. Administer one dose at 9 months of age and another at 18 months.
  • Rotavirus Vaccine: This vaccine protects against rotavirus, a leading cause of severe diarrhea in young children. Healthcare providers administer two or three doses, depending on the brand of vaccine, usually starting at 6 weeks of age.
  • Hib Vaccine (Haemophilus influenzae type b): This vaccine protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b, a bacteria that can cause serious infections, including meningitis and pneumonia. Administer three doses typically at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age.
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV): This vaccine helps prevent pneumonia, meningitis, and ear infections in children caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Healthcare providers typically administer three doses at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age, followed by a booster dose at 12 months of age.

Where to Get Your Child Vaccinated in Bangalore

Vaccinations are readily available at various government hospitals, primary health centers, and private hospitals across Bangalore. Many private hospitals offer vaccination packages that may include additional, non-mandatory vaccines.

Additional Considerations

  • Contraindications: Some children may have medical conditions that make them ineligible for certain vaccines. Consulting your pediatrician before your child’s vaccination appointment to discuss any potential contraindications is crucial.
  • Side Effects: Most vaccines cause mild side effects like fever, redness at the injection site, or fussiness. These are usually temporary and resolve on their own within a day or two. Consult your pediatrician if you have any concerns about side effects.
  • Missed Doses: If your child misses a scheduled vaccination, it’s important to catch up as soon as possible. Talk to your pediatrician about creating a revised schedule.
  • Non-Mandatory Vaccinations: In India, kids should get vaccines for Varicella, Influenza, and HPV to stay healthy. These vaccines are not required but recommended. Discuss these options with your pediatrician to determine if they are right for your child.


Can I delay vaccinations for my child?

While some flexibility might exist in the exact timing of vaccinations, it’s generally not recommended to delay them significantly. Following the recommended schedule ensures your child receives optimal protection at critical stages of development. Discuss any concerns you have with your pediatrician.

What if my child is scared of needles?

Many children experience anxiety around needles. Talk to your pediatrician about strategies to ease your child’s apprehension. Techniques like applying a topical anesthetic cream beforehand, distraction during the injection, and offering rewards afterward can be helpful.

Is it safe to vaccinate my child if they have a cold?

Mild illnesses like a cold are usually not contraindications for vaccination. However, it’s advisable to consult your pediatrician if your child has a fever or seems particularly unwell. They can advise on whether to postpone the vaccination.

Can I get all the vaccinations at once?

While some combinations are possible, healthcare providers will not administer all vaccines at a single appointment. The schedule suggests when to get vaccines based on age and the need for booster shots to keep protection strong.

How can I keep track of my child’s vaccination records?

Most government and private healthcare providers offer immunization cards to track your child’s vaccination history. Maintain this card carefully and update it with each vaccination. You can also consider digital health apps designed for immunization recordkeeping.


Vaccinations are a cornerstone of preventive healthcare, offering your child a shield against a multitude of diseases. By understanding the mandatory vaccinations and following the recommended schedule, you’re actively safeguarding your child’s health. Remember, timely vaccinations not only protect your child but also contribute to a healthier community for all.

Have you spoken to your pediatrician about your child’s immunization schedule? What are some questions you have about vaccinations?

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