Home > Kids > Immunisation > Children Immunisation > Used of Vaccines

Used of Vaccines

Vaccines used in the Ministry of Health (MOH), Malaysia

Vaccine product
Route of giving vacci
Tuberculosis Weakened bacterium (BCG) Beneath the skin in the arm
2 Diphtheria Modified bacterial toxin(D)  


DTaP/ Hib/ IPV is given together into the muscle of the thigh (if less than 1 year old) or arm (if more than 1 year old)

3 Tetanus Modified bacterial toxin(T)
4 Pertussis Killed bacterium (aP) #
5 Haemophilus influenzae type b Bacterial component (Hib)
6 Poliomyelitis Ruled virus Given as a liquid by mouth
7 Hepatitis B Viral component (Hep B)  


Given as MMR into the muscle of the thigh

8 Mumps Weakened virus (M)
9 Measles Weakened virus (M)
10 Rubella Weakened virus (R)
11 Cervical Cancer Reconcurrent virus Into the muscle of the arm / thigh


  • All the above diseases can spread from one person to another, except tetanus (which is caused by wounds in the body being contaminated by soil containing that bacteria)
  • The vaccines which may be offered in the private sector include:
    • Varicella (chickenpox)
    • Influenzae
    • Hepatitis A
    • Typhoid fever
    • Pneumococcal
    • Rotavirus

The diseases and the complications that can be prevented by vaccination

Tuberculosis This bacterium causes serious infections of the lung (pneumonia), the membrane covering the brain (meningitis) and spread throughout the body.
Diphtheria The toxin released by the bacterium causes blockage of the airway and pneumonia.
Pertussis (whooping cough) This leads to severe cough (whooping cough), reduction of oxygen going to the brain and pneumonia.
Tetanus The poison from the bacterium causes stiffness of body muscles and inability to open the jaws (lock jaw).
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) This bacterium causes infection of the lungs (pneumonia), airway and covering of the brain (meningitis).
Hepatitis B This virus causes acute and chronic liver damage and predisposes the individual to liver cancer in later life.
Poliomyelitis This virus causes infection of the brain (encephalitis) and permanent weakness of the leg muscles.
Measles This virus can cause infection of the brain (encephalitis) and lungs (pneumonia).
Mumps This virus causes infection of the brain (encephalitis) and testis (orchitis) which can lead to infertility.
Rubella If the rubella virus circulates in the community, an expectant mother, especially in the first three months of pregnancy may get the disease resulting in a baby with multiple birth defects. The baby may have mental damage, hearing and visual problems and heart defect (usually a PDA patent ductus arteriosus).
Invasive Pneumococcal Disease This bacteria can cause severe pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia.
Rotavirus This virus can cause severe diarrhoea, dehydration and encephalitis.
Human Papilloma virus This virus can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.

Note – All these diseases cause serious illnesses and deaths.

Safety and side effects of vaccination

All vaccines used are safe and effective and in accordance with the WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations.The side-effects are mild and self-limiting. These include fever, local swelling and pain at the injection sites which will respond to oral medication (paracetamol).
Serious side-effects are rare and your doctor should be consulted immediately. This includes :

  • Excessive crying, drowsy, pale colour, poor muscle tone occurring within 48 hours after vaccination
  • Sudden onset of skin rashes, breathlessness and drowsiness

Precautions & contra-indications to immunisation are uncommon

  1. Care may be taken in the following situations :
    • Minor illness with or without fever is not a contra-indication for immunisation.
    • Minor reaction after taking egg is not a contra-indication against measles vaccination.
    • However, if your baby is having an acute illness with body temperature more than 38 degrees Celsius, the immunisation can be postponed till the baby recovers.
    • If your baby is having easy bruising due to a rare medical condition, the intra-muscular injection may cause bleeding into the muscle.
  2. The following situations are rare and are contra-indications to immunisation :
    • Live vaccines (OPV, MMR) are contra-indicated if your baby has weakened body defenses against germs either through a serious disease or on certain medication (long term steroids, acute stage of cancer treatment). Once your child condition has improved, immunisation may be recommenced.
    • Your child has a known severe allergic generalised reaction (anaphylaxis) to a previous dose of vaccination or to any component of the vaccine.
Last reviewed : 25 April 2012
Content Writer : Dato’ Dr. Jimmy Lee Kok Foo
Dr. Leow Poy Lee
Reviewer : Dr. Ranjini S. Sivanesom