The first year vaccines in Turkey differ from other countries, which is issued by their Ministries of Health. These vaccinations are always necessary to prevent serious diseases and risks of deaths or becoming permanently disabled.
While some vaccines protection lifelong when applied once, other ones should be applied again in certain periods. Turkish hospitals give you a vaccination card after your new born takes his first vaccine, these cards organize the vaccinations in a calendar along with empty spaces in which nurses insert the dates of the vaccinations. It is important to keep this card and follow up with your child’s paediatrician.
Types of FIRST YEAR VACCINES IN TURKEY and their schedule:
1- The first level:
The first level of first year vaccines in Turkey is the hepatitis vaccine (Hepatit B Aşısı) which was added in routinely applied vaccines list in 1998 with an efficiency of 90-95%, should be given your new born Immediately at birth, and then the second level of the vaccine will be given at the end of the first month following birth.
2- The second level:
At the end of the second month following birth, the infant should be vaccinated with the first level TB (BCG) vaccine, which was implemented compulsorily after 1951 in Turkey and was applied in 4 doses early on. This vaccine which was reduced to 2 doses in 1997 was decreased to single dose with the resolution of World Health Organization. Moreover, the two-month-old baby should be vaccinated with the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (KPA) which was firstly entered in vaccination calendar as conjugate pneumococcus vaccine with seven components in 2008 November. As from 2011, it has been applied in 12 components to all babies smaller than 60 months; in addition to the first level of the “DaBT-İPA-HİB” vaccine.
3- The third level:
The child at this stage is vaccinated with the Diphtheria ‐ Whooping cough – Tetanus vaccine which is a type of inactive vaccine entered within the scope of compulsory vaccines to be made after birth in Turkey, 1937. Vaccine calendar starting with 2nd month after birth is repeated in 4th, 6th and 18th month. As of 2016, these first year vaccines in turkey are also implemented in first class of primary education. Which includes:
- Whooping cough (Aselüler Boğmaca)
- Tetanus (Tetanoz)
- Polio (İnaktif Polio)
- Haemophilus influenzae TYPE B vaccine (Hemofilus İnfluenza Tip B); After age 5, it is only implemented to the children under risky group.
4- The Fourth level:
At the end of the fourth month following birth, the child is given the second levels of the previous vaccines (DaBT-İPA-HİB and KPA).
5- The Fifth level:
At the end of the sixth month following birth, the child is vaccinated with the third level of (Hepatit B, DaBT-İPA-HİB and KPA), In addition to the polio vaccine (OPA).
6- The Sixth level:
At the end of the twelfth month and the end of first year vaccines in turkey, the baby will be vaccinated with the last pneumococcal vaccine (KPA) and the first level of the measles- mumps-rubella (KKK) vaccine, which was Involved in vaccination program in 1970s and till 1987, it was applied in two doses to the babies at 8th and 15th months but after 2006 it has been applied two doses in total in 9th month and first grade of primary education. In addition to the first-level chickenpox vaccine (Suçiçeği) which its essential dose is two. While first dose is implemented between 12 and 15th month, second dose is applied at age 4-6.
healthcare centers for foreigners distributed in different Turkish provinces:
Vaccination services are completely free:
All you need to do is to take the vaccination booklet and any identification papers for the child, in addition to an (electricity, gas, or water) bill to prove your residency, then you go to the nearest hospital, where you will be directed to the vaccination room.
You can also check this important guide about medical care centers for foreigners in Turkey and You can check the official website of the ministry of health about governmental hospitals.