Baby vaccination 2018

By Nomad Mum

Deutsche Version

Find here the most recent advices for baby vaccination, toddler vaccination, timelines, as well as travel vaccination for 2018.

First of all, your baby needs to be at least 2 months old for the first vaccination and needs to get follow-up vaccinations thereafter.

Since we are traveling for almost 2 years with our almost 2-year-old toddler and 5-month-old baby, almost all of their vaccinations were done abroad! So don’t worry, if you were planning to travel and still need to get vaccinations for your baby or toddler. There are doctors abroad and they do have the right medicine in most countries 🙂

Do I need extra vaccination when traveling abroad for my baby?

Before the age of 1 there are no vaccinations available you might need in certain countries. Until that age, you only need the standard vaccinations, as listed below.

Standard vaccination

Every country has its own national committee for vaccination recommendations. The following recommendations are published by the German STIKO committee, which are similar across Europe. For the US please check the CDC recommendations here.

These are the recommendations up to the age of 23 months. For more information check their bulletin.

There is a 6-fold vaccination in 1 injection for Tetanus, Diphtheria, Whooping cough, Polio, Hepatitis B, and Hib. The vaccination for the Pneumococcal disease is a separate one. Rotavirus is also a separate one (oral vaccination) and not mandatory in all countries.

All of the standard vaccinations can be applied at one visit. Hence, you will need to get the first vaccination at 2 months, then at 3 months, 4 months and around 12 months. You may also skip one vaccination or delay it. In this case, the vaccine protection might be a bit less.

After the first and second vaccination, our babies were just a bit crying on the next day. If you should have any side effects, they will usually appear within the next 3 days. Consequently, stay at one place the days after the vaccination, in case you need to visit a physician.


Which diseases do I have to be aware of in foreign countries?

There are two very helpful sites regarding diseases in foreign countries:

Travel health for people who are travelling abroad
Centers for disease control and prevention

To sum up, you need to check for Yellow Fever (South America and Africa) and Malaria (Asia, South America, Africa). Usually you would not vaccinate for Malaria due to its side affects. Furthermore, Yellow Fever should not be vaccinated before the age of 1. Therefore, we decided not to travel to those countries / areas. Please note, that there are several countries where the risk for these diseases varies across areas. For instance, most of the Brazil coast is save, whereas the inland is not.

Regarding Malaria often the following rule applies: the more rural it gets, the higher the risk for Malaria.


Travel vaccination

If your baby or toddler is at least one year old, there are several vaccinations that might be useful in certain countries. They are usually not covered in the standart vaccination plan. Such as:

  • Yellow Fever
  • Rabies (in areas with stray dogs, mokeys etc.)
  • Hepatitis A (recommended in tropical and subtropical areas)
  • Malaria (severe side effects!)

For more information please check this bulletin.

Since we decided not to travel to Yellow Fever risk areas, we did not cover this immunization. We did immunize our toddler for Hepatitis A and we are planning to cover Rabies in the future. Especially in areas with stray dogs or monkeys it is a very useful vaccination.


Please comment below if you have questions.

Finally, this is just an overview of our learnings. So please consult your physician for detailed information.

For anti-vexxer: we are open to all opinions. However, vaccination is not a matter of opinions, but rather of facts. So if you know any reliable clinical study against vaccination, please feel free to share in the comments below!

We have also prepared information for a first aid kit for your baby.

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