Important Vaccines in Nigeria for Children

Vaccination is a critical aspect of public health, especially when it comes to protecting our children from preventable diseases. In Nigeria, where infectious diseases pose a significant threat, ensuring widespread vaccine coverage is essential. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll delve into the importance of vaccines, the current vaccination schedule in Nigeria, challenges faced, and the way forward.

The Significance of Vaccination

Vaccines are like shields for our immune system. They stimulate the body to produce antibodies, which recognize and fight specific pathogens. By vaccinating our children, we not only protect them but also contribute to community immunity (herd immunity). When a sufficient proportion of the population is immune, the spread of diseases is curtailed, safeguarding vulnerable individuals who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons.

Nigeria’s Current Vaccination Schedule

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF jointly collect data on vaccination schedules across countries. Let’s explore Nigeria’s vaccination schedule for young children:

Key Vaccines

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTwP-Hib-HepB)

  • Administered at birth, 2, 4, 6, 10, and 14 weeks.
  • Protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and hepatitis B.

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

  • Given at 6, 10, and 14 weeks.
  • Prevents Hib infections, which can cause severe illnesses like meningitis and pneumonia.

Hepatitis B (HepB)

  • Administered at birth and 6 weeks.
  • Shields against hepatitis B virus.

Measles (MEAS)

  • Given at 9 months.
  • Protects against this highly contagious viral disease.

Meningococcal disease (MenA conj)

  • Administered at 9 months.G
  • against meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A.

Challenges and Progress

Despite efforts, Nigeria faces challenges in achieving full immunization coverage. These include:
  1. Access and Awareness: Some communities lack access to healthcare facilities. Awareness campaigns are crucial to dispel myths and misconceptions about vaccines.
  2. Vaccine Hesitancy: Fear, misinformation, and distrust hinder vaccine acceptance.Advocay and education are vital to address hesitancy.
  3. Health System Strengthening: Improving infrastructure, training healthcare workers, and ensuring vaccine supply are essential.

UNICEF’s Call to Action

UNICEF emphasizes seizing the moment for routine vaccination. In 2019, nearly 14 million Nigerian children missed life-saving vaccines like measles, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Nigeria must prioritize immunization to protect its children and prevent outbreaks.


Vaccines are not just shots; they are investments in our children’s health and future. By adhering to the vaccination schedule, promoting awareness, and addressing challenges, Nigeria can create a healthier, more resilient generation. Let’s join hands to ensure that no child misses out on the protection they deserve.

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