Moving can be hard especially with a baby, one thing that no one mentions when they talk about settling in a new country is immunisation.
*Personally, I’m pro-vaccine. I was vaccinated as a child and I intend to fully vaccinate all my children regardless where we live. If you choose not to vaccinate your little one then this post might not be for you.
My son (Baby E as most of you know him) was born in Melbourne back in 2015; he received his 2 months and 4 months vaccines in Melbourne at our local clinic. In Australia we have a book to keep all the baby’s developmental records including immunisation. I know every country is different and in Kenya it’s a card instead a book to keep track of the baby’s immunisation.
At 5 months I travelled with Baby E to Kenya and we spent a year there, a few weeks after settling in Kenya his 6 months vaccinations were due. We weren’t fully prepared what we had to do to get them done. First we visited his pediatrician who recommended Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital in Lavington, which was the closest children’s hospital to our house.
We booked an appointment. I wanted to follow the schedule on his Baby book. In Kenya there is a completely different immunisation schedule because of course it is designed to best protect the babies living Kenya.
At the Children’s Hospital we were told that they have the two shots but not the drop! This was the 3rd dose and there was no way he wasn’t going to get it. So Hubby and I went on a mission to physically go and look for the drop. We went to Dr. Chunge, Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi Women’s hospital with no luck then * Drum roll please * we finally found the drop at Nairobi Hospital. We purchased it and then we were told that no one is available to administer it.
The problem here is I needed a professional to administer it because there are very specific details that need to be filled in the book like the batch number and it needs to be signed/ stamped and dated. We had to go to Dr Claire Majisu Baby E’s pediatrician to administer it and she happily did so.
His 12 months vaccine were way smoother than these, his doctor had all of the shots available at her clinic. It’s important to note that these vaccines will cost you around $100 so don’t assume it will be free as it is in most countries.
When we moved back to Melbourne I took my baby’s book into our local city council and had his records updated on the system that his immunisation is up to date. A few weeks after our arrival it was time for his 18 months shots and he was a complete champ, he even earned a sticker. Now we have 2 years until the next run of vaccinations.
If you don’t document you child’s immunisation while traveling, you baby might end up getting a lot of vaccines at once when you return to your country.
If you’re traveling with you baby don’t forget the travel vaccinations for the baby and you will receive a yellow book to take with you. If your traveling to Kenya because you will be asked about those vaccinations at the airport.
Have you traveled with a small baby before?
Was your baby ever vaccinated in another country?
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