Vaccination is essential to effectively (and sustainably) protect children against certain serious, sometimes fatal diseases. Which vaccines are compulsory? Which are recommended? Let’s go around the question.
Diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis (or DTP). Before 2018, they were the only mandatory vaccines for infants. But in the face of still insufficient vaccination coverage for certain pathologies and the reappearance of epidemics (such as the resurgence of measles cases in recent years), it was decided to extend the vaccination obligation to eight additional vaccines for children under two. .
Measles therefore, but also whooping cough,haemophilus influenzae b (which causes in infants and small children purulent meningitis or inflammation of the epiglottis which can lead to rapid choking), hepatitis B, meningococcus C, pneumococcus, mumps and rubella.
All children born since 1er January 2018 must therefore benefit from these 11 immunizations. And here is how the injections are distributed:
- At 2, 4 and 11 months (3 injections): diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, whooping cough, meningitis Haemophilus influenzae bmeningitis, pneumococcal pneumonia and septicemia, hepatitis B;
- At 12 months: first injection for measles-mumps-rubella;
- Between 16 and 18 months : the second injection;
- Is 6 years old: booster for whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis;
- Between 11 and 13 years old: new reminder for these 4 diseases.
What are the recommended vaccines?
Some injections, if not mandatory, are still strongly recommended. We quote:
- Tuberculosis. Vaccination with BCG (for Bacille Calmette and Guérin) is the only way to protect against tuberculosis. Since 2007, it is no longer compulsory and it is no longer required when children enter the community. But it remains strongly recommended from the age of one month;
- Meningococcus B. The latter is a bacterium that is frequently found in the throat and can sometimes trigger a serious disease: invasive meningococcal disease. Since June 2021, the High Authority for Health (HAS) has therefore recommended the vaccination of all babies aged 2 – 24 months;
- The seasonal flu: Responsible for winter epidemics, its vaccination is recommended from 6 months in the most fragile infants and protects against serious forms;
- Rotavirus gastroenteritis. It particularly affects children under 5 years old. While the illness is mostly mild, diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dangerous acute dehydration. This is why since July 2022, HAS has recommended vaccination against rotavirus for all infants aged 6 weeks to 6 months;
- The human papillomavirus (or HPV). HPVs are responsible for eight cancer sites: cervix, anus, oropharynx, vulva, vagina, oral cavity, larynx and penis. This is why vaccination is recommended for both girls and boys from the age of 11 years.
What about Covid-19?
Since December 22, 2021, all children from the age of 5 can be vaccinated against Covid-19. The vaccine administered to children is the pediatric form of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, three times less dosed than the “adult” form (the one injected from the age of 12). The number of doses depends on whether your child has already contracted Covid-19 or not. If he has never had the disease, the full vaccination schedule is 2 doses 21 days apart. If he has already had it, he will only receive one dose.
To note : A period of 2 months must be respected between an infection with SARS-CoV-2 and a vaccination.