Child Immunization & Vaccination in India: The Complete Guide

Updated: March 12, 2020

Child vaccination, also known as immunization, is crucial for your child to prevent him from serious illness and complicated vaccine-preventable diseases in future. Thus, as soon as your baby is born, he needs to undergo the below list of doses of vaccines. The chart below shows Vaccination in India and is recommended by the CDC, the IAP and most pediatricians in India.

Role of Vaccinations

Vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection. This type of infection, however, almost never causes illness, but it does cause the immune system to produce T-lymphocytes and antibodies. Sometimes, after getting a vaccine, the imitation infection can cause minor symptoms, such as fever. Such minor symptoms are normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity.

Once the imitation infection goes away, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes, as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that disease in the future.

Vaccination Chart for Babies in India with Cost

Age CompletedVaccinesContent TagApprox Price (INR)Prevents
BirthBacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG)BCG91 – 1025TB & bladder cancer
Oral polio vaccine (OPV 0)OPV230Polio
Hepatitis B (Hep – B1)Hep -B52.25 – 6000Liver disease
6 weeksDiptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine (DTwP 1)DTP225Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV 1)IPV440Polio
Hepatitis B  (Hep – B2)Hep -B52.25 – 6000Liver disease
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib 1)Hib113 – 252.5Infections caused by Bacteria
Rotavirus 1Rotavirus689 – 1499Rotavirus infection (severe diarrhea)
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV 1)PCV1495 – 3801Pneumococcal infections
10 weeksDiptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine (DTwP 2)DTP225Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV 2)IPV440Polio
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib 2)Hib113 – 252.5Infections caused by Bacteria
Rotavirus 2Rotavirus689 – 1499Rotavirus infection (severe diarrhea)
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV 2)PCV1495 – 3801Pneumococcal infections
14 weeksDiptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine (DTwP 3)DTP225Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV 3)IPV440Polio
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib 3)Hib113 – 252.5Infections caused by Bacteria
Rotavirus 3Rotavirus689 – 1499Rotavirus infection (severe diarrhea)
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV 3)PCV1495 – 3801Pneumococcal infections
6 monthsOral polio vaccine (OPV 1)OPV230Polio
Hepatitis B (Hep – B3)Hep -B52.25 – 6000Liver disease
9 monthsOral polio vaccine (OPV 2)OPV230Polio
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR – 1)MMR155 – 600Measles, Mumps & Rubella
9 – 12 monthsTyphoid Conjugate VaccineTyphoid Conjugate Vaccine150 – 525Typhoid
12 monthsHepatitis A (Hep – A1)Hep -A1003 – 1395Liver disease
15 monthsMeasles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR 2)MMR155 – 600Measles, Mumps & Rubella
Varicella 1Varicella1625 – 2259Chickenpox
PCV boosterPCV1495 – 3801Pneumococcal infections
16 to 18 monthsDiphtheria, Perussis, and Tetanus (DTwP B1/DTaP B1)DTP225Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV B1)IPV440Polio
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib B1)Hib113 – 252.5Infections caused by Bacteria
18 monthsHepatitis A (Hep – A2)Hep -A1003 – 1395Liver disease
2 yearsBooster of TyphoidTyphoid Conjugate Vaccine150 – 525Typhoid
Conjugate VaccineTyphoid
4 to 6 yearsDiphtheria, Perussis, and Tetanus (DTwP B2/DTaP B2)DTP225Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis
Oral polio vaccine (OPV 3)OPV230Polio
Varicella 2Varicella1625 – 2259Chickenpox
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR 3)MMR155 – 600Measles, Mumps & Rubella
10 to 12 yearsTdap/TdTdap767 – 1098Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)HPV2190 – 2259Some Cancers & Warts

(Note: Vaccination prices shown in the table are for reference only and may vary as per your location. Please consult your pediatrician or visit any professional medical store before making any purchase.)

Painless vs Normal/Painful Vaccine

Sometimes, the doctor may give you the option of painful or painless vaccines. As parents, we want to avoid causing any pain to our child. However, please discuss the difference between painful and painless vaccines to make an informed decision. As per studies, the painless vaccine may have a faster period of waning (i.e. the immunity decreases faster) than the painful vaccine. The comparison of both the options is shared below:

Painless VaccinesNormal/Painful Vaccines
EffectivenessPainless vaccines contain immunity-stimulating components in lesser amounts while they are formulated, which makes them less effective.Completely effective.
AdvantagesImmunization against diseases.
Little to no swelling at the injection site.
Very less chance of fever and other symptoms after the shot.
Immunization against diseases.
DisadvantagesWill give your baby pain during the time of prick.
Less effective.
Children need to be given more shots.
The effects may not last long in the body.
Will give your baby pain during the time of prick.
Results in usual discomfort like high-grade fever, vomiting
PriceMore than double the price of normal vaccinesNominal price

Ways to ease pain after Vaccination in babies

  • Stay relaxed during the vaccination – Your panic would only put your baby into more distress.
  • Rub the area injected after vaccination for at least 10 seconds. The massage will create a distraction from pain for your baby.
  • Ask your doctor if numbing cream can be applied on the area. Alternatively, keeping an ice pack on the injected area is suggested to relieve the pain and prevent swelling.
  • Distract your baby during the vaccination process. Keep her favourite toy or any other object of fascination handy so that your baby is distracted from the pain of the vaccination shot.
  • Keep the feed ready for your baby right after the injection.

Things to Remember During Vaccination

  • In case your child has fever, your doctor may need to reschedule the immunization.
  • For some vaccines, it’s normal to get fever for a few days after it is administered. You can use a sponge bath to reduce your baby’s temperature. Visit your doctor in case fever persists beyond 1-2 days.
  • Take along a family member or your spouse, if possible, to assist you during your child’s vaccination. This will help distract and comfort the child during and after the shot is given. Carry your child’s favorite toy, blanket, etc. to comfort them.
  • Always check for the expiry date on vaccines, and see that a fresh syringe is used every time.
  • Hold the child tight and don’t let him move while administering the vaccine as the injection may cut through the skin.
  • Avoid bringing the child out of doctor’s clinic while he is still in pain and crying. If you let the child calm down there itself then the child is more comfortable visiting the doctor next time.
  • Always prefer scheduling the vaccination during morning time as you get ample time until night to see if there are any allergies or ill-effects and you can immediately seek medical help if there are any such symptoms.
  • Always keep paracetamol handy to help the child overcome fever and pain, if it shows up after vaccination.

What happens in case of delay in child vaccination? (amidst Covid-19 situation)

Try to adhere to your child’s vaccination schedule and never miss a vaccine. If certain vaccination doses are missed or delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, a CATCH-UP VACCINATION SCHEDULE kicks into gear. First thing you need to do is consult your child pediatrician immediately!

During the current times of Covid-19 pandemic, here are the WHO recommendations:

  • For babies below 1 year: Avoid delaying vaccinations for more than 2 weeks, and catch up with the child vaccination schedule as soon as possible, as per the hospital guidelines.
  • For children above 1 year: The vaccines (booster shots) can be delayed for about 45-60 days.
  • In case of no access to a hospital/doctor/long distance travel: It is advisable to avoid travelling. However, plan for urgent catch-up of missed child vaccination when physical distancing measures are lifted.

You can check the current WHO guidelines here.

How to prepare your child for doctor’s visit?

  • Tell your child what is going to happen before it happens. Educating children in advance is the most effective way to alleviate fears.
  • Keep your language simple and developmentally appropriate. Use words and phrases that they would understand.
  • Make a plan. Will you sit next to your child or will they sit on their own? Practice taking deep breaths for any procedures. Remember that you are your child’s coach. Encourage them when things are hard, comfort them when it is too much, and reward them for their efforts.
  • Offer distractions.
  • Be comforting. Holding or hugging a child is preferred over having them restrained, which can only elevate a patient’s fears.
  • Offer a small treat afterward. The promise of an ice-cream cone, small toy or a fun shared outing after the doctor’s office may help boost positive associations with the experience.

Government Hospital vs. Private Hospital

While there is no difference in the vaccination schedule in India in either of the facility, however, choosing a hospital for your child’s immunization is completely a matter of parent’s personal choice. The differences may be seen in the below table:

Government HospitalPrivate Hospital
Not all vaccines may be available due to shortage.Availability of all the vaccines.
Some vaccines, like Pneumococcal vaccine, Influenza (flu) vaccineetc, are not provided in government hospitals due to availability and affordability issues.Availability of all the vaccines.
Basic and necessary vaccination is provided for free.All vaccines are chargeable.
One may encounter long queues and distance issues.If cost is not an issue, then private hospitals are preferred in terms of comfort, facilities, distance, and waiting time.

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