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According to The World Health Organisation, immunisation saves 3 million lives a year.

The department of health recommends that children are vaccinated from birth up until they are 12 years old to protect them from infectious diseases.

The process of vaccination involves giving the recipient a small, amount of a particular bacteria or virus in order for the immune system to be able prepare itself for the next time it is presented with the bacteria.

Speaking to CapeTalk's Aubrey Masango Dr Nasiha Soofie explains how vaccines work:

It actually includes a modified form or a killed form of a bacteria or a virus which you would like to protect the recipient against.

Dr Nasiha Soofie, Medical Head - Sanofi Pasteur

When you inject the bacteria, the body is fooled into thinking it is being attacked by the real virus or bacteria and it responds to it in the same way as if it were being infected by the actual wild-type virus or bacteria.

Dr Nasiha Soofie, Medical Head - Sanofi Pasteur

The table below shows when it is recommended that specific immunisations are given:

There's a very specific reason as to why it has been scheduled that way - it is in fact a scientific formula.

Dr Nasiha Soofie, Medical Head - Sanofi Pasteur

The reason we choose for the first (whooping cough) dose to be at six weeks is because...research indicates that at six weeks, the child is most vulnerable to whooping cough.

Dr Nasiha Soofie, Medical Head - Sanofi Pasteur

Other vaccinations given to children up to the age of 12 include polio, measles, hepatitis, tetanus, Diptheria and TB.

Find out more about childhood vaccinations and when it's recommended they are given by clicking below:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Are your child’s vaccinations up to date?

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