Immunization Schedule for Infants, Pregnant Women and Children

Immunization Schedule: Immunization is a process in which the immune system of an individual is strengthened against an infection. This is done by exposing the immune system to foreign molecules which can induce a protective response from the immune system. Individuals can develop an immunity against common infections as well when they acquire the infection more than once.

The immune cells of the individual keep a memory of the infection and when the same infection tries to enter the body again then it triggers a more swift and effective response from the immune system. This prevents the development of the infection for a second time. This is known as natural immunization or natural immunity. Artificial immunization is when the individual is exposed to foreign particles intentionally. This forms the basis of many vaccines which are available against common and deadly infections.

However, many diseases carry serious complications and getting infected with them can lead to major problems in individuals. Artificial immunizations are considered as less risky and an easier method to develop immunity against a disease. Immunizations are started in babies and children as they have a weaker immunity than adults.


Immunization works on the principle that the immune system of every individual keeps a memory of the first encounter with a disease. The immune system has memory cells which retain the memory of the foreign bodies. Hence when these foreign bodies come in contact with the individual again then the memory cells help in the formation of antibodies against these bodies.

This helps the individual to fight against the infection and prevents the development of the infection. If the infection does develop then it does not lead to any serious symptoms in the individual due to the presence of antibodies. Vaccination can prevent the development of many diseases such as Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chickenpox and Tetanus.

Because of the large magnitude vaccination drives conducted by various countries Polio has been eradicated from many countries. It is still prevalent in countries where vaccination drives are not as strong. The article below will cover the Immunization schedules for Infants, Children and Pregnant Women.

Immunization Schedule for Infants, Pregnant Women and Children

Types of Immunization

There are two main types of immunization which are used in order to form different vaccines. These types are explained below.

  1. Active Immunization- In this type, some parts of a microbe or a weakened microbe is inserted into the body of the person. These trigger the immune system of the individual to develop antibodies against the microbe. This also leads to the formation of memory cells which can produce more antibodies when the person comes in contact with the microbe again.
  2. Passive Immunization- In this type, pre-synthesized antibodies are transferred to the body of the person in order to give immunity to the person. This type of immunity works rapidly however it does not last long as the antibodies get broken down naturally.

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Immunization Schedule for Infants

The infants should start receiving their immunization doses as soon as possible because they do not have strong immune systems. They only have some immunity which they receive from breast milk. The schedule for the immunization of infants is given below in the table.

VaccineDiseaseWhen to Administer
BCGTuberculosisAt birth
Hepatitis BHepatitis BWithin 24 Hours of Birth
OPV-0PolioWithin 15 Days of Birth
OPV- 1, 2, 3PolioAt 6, 10 and 14 Weeks respectively. 
Pentavalent 1, 2, 3Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and HibAt 6, 10 and 14 Weeks respectively. Can be given till the age of 1 year.
RotavirusRotavirusAt 6, 10 and 14 Weeks respectively. Can be given till the age of 1 year
IPVPolioAt 6 and 14 Weeks
MMRMeasles, Mumps and Rubella9 to 12 Months
JE-1Japanese Encephalitis9 to 12 Months
Vitamin AMeasles and SupplementationAlong with MMR Vaccine

Immunization Schedule for Pregnant Women 

Pregnant women should get the booster doses of vaccines so that they do not contract any preventable disease during their pregnancy and labour. If they get any of these diseases during pregnancy then it can affect the growing foetus and can even lead to complications. The immunization schedule for Pregnant women is given below.

VaccineDiseaseWhen to Administer
TT-1TetanusEarly in Pregnancy
TT-2Tetanus4 Weeks after TT-1
TT-BoosterTetanusAfter 2 doses of TT have been received in the last 36 weeks during a pregnancy

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Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Immunization Schedule for Children

After the infants reach the age of 2 years then they receive booster doses of the vaccines already administered in order to maintain the immunity which was developed by the initial doses. This helps the immunity to last longer in the children. The immunization schedule for children is given below.

VaccineDiseaseWhen to Administer
DPT Booster-1Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus16 to 24 Months
MMR-2Measles, Mumps and Rubella16 to 24 Months
OPV BoosterPolio16 to 24 Months
JE-2Japanese Encephalitis16 to 24 Months
Vitamin A (2nd to 9th Dose)Measles and Supplementation16 to 18 Months. Then one dose is given every six months till the age of five years.
DPT Booster-2Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus5 to 6 Years
TTTetanus10 Years and 16 Years

FAQs Related to Immunization Schedule

When should I start the vaccination of my baby?

The baby should receive their first dose of vaccination against the Hepatitis B virus within the first 24 hours of their birth. They will also receive the first dose of Polio vaccine within 15 days of their birth.

What is the immunization for pregnant women?

Pregnant women should receive the vaccination doses for Tetanus virus as this virus can cross the placenta and can affect the growing foetus. This can lead to the development of the disease in babies when they are born.

What are the types of immunizations?

There are two types of immunization which are used for the development of vaccines. These are Active immunization and Passive Immunization. They are described in the article above.

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