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General / Why Vaccinate?

Why Vaccinate?

Why do children need immunisation?

The reason for immunisation is to decrease the chance of children from getting infectious diseases. Moreover, if the majority of people are immunised and become immune, this would reduce the risk of infectious diseases spreading in the community, thereby protecting the health of individuals and the community.1

When should children be immunised?

Immunisation should be started from birth, with booster doses administered for certain vaccines later on to maintain immunity.1

Why do children need boosters?

Scientific evidence indicates that the immunity produced by some vaccines decreases with time. Hence, booster doses should be given at intervals to enhance the immunity.1

What vaccines should children receive and where can they get immunised?

The Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases (SCVPD) under the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) makes recommendations regarding the Hong Kong Childhood Immunisation Programme (HKCIP) based on local epidemiology and scientific evidence.  Immunisations provided under the public health care sector follow the schedule of the HKCIP.  Infants and children should receive different types of vaccines and boosters to protect them from tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus, pneumococcal infection, chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella and cervical cancer^.  As different countries and areas have their own childhood immunisation programme based on their epidemiology, DH recommends children to receive immunisation in their usual place of residence for comprehensive protection against childhood infectious diseases.

Parents can bring their children from birth to five years of age to any Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHCs) of DH for immunisation. Inoculators of the DH will visit primary schools to provide immunisation service to school children. Parents may also bring their children to private doctors for immunisation.1

Besides the vaccines included in the Hong Kong Childhood Immunisation Programme, should children receive other vaccines?

Besides those vaccines included in the HKCIP, some private doctors and hospitals may provide other vaccines such as Influenza vaccine, Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, meningococcal vaccine, rotavirus vaccine, hepatitis A vaccine and Japanese encephalitis vaccine etc. Parents may seek advice from private doctors and vaccines outside HKCIP maybe offered to children based on individual health needs.1



  1. Family Health Service. Prevent Communicable Diseases - Get Your Child Vaccinated. [ONLINE]




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