Muthaiga Pediatrics recommends these additional vaccines due to the specific disease risks children face in Kenya and East Africa.
This vaccine is recommended for children older than 6 months who have asthma, recurrent ear infections, diabetes or heart disease. For these children, catching the flu poses a greater-than-normal risk. A yearly influenza vaccine, preferably given between May and August (the Kenyan cold season) or in October (to cover the European and American winter period), helps to protect your child against flu. The first time children under 3 years are vaccinated for the flu, 2 doses of the vaccine, spaced 1 month apart, will be given. After this, only 1 dose of the vaccine is needed each year. For younger children, the flu vaccine is given as an injection.
Rabies is a serious disease caused by a virus and almost always results in death. Humans get rabies when they are bitten by infected animals. Rabies vaccination is recommended for international travelers or residents who are likely to come in contact with animals in parts of the world where rabies is common (as in many parts of Kenya). The pre-exposure schedule for rabies vaccination is 3 doses, given over 4 weeks. Note: Vaccination of animals (including pets) occurs at much lower rates in East Africa than in European and North American countries. You and your children should exercise caution when approaching and handling animals. If an unvaccinated family member should be bitten and you are unsure of the animal’s immunization status, report to the doctor immediately for preventative measures. Our Rabies Fact Sheet has additional information.
Typhoid (typhoid fever) is another serious disease caused by bacteria. Typhoid causes severe stomach pains, high fever, headache, weakness, loss of appetite and possibly a rash. If typhoid is not treated, the risk of death is high. Vaccination against typhoid is recommended for travelers to parts of the world (such as Kenya) where typhoid is common. The injectable vaccine used in Kenya may be given from 2 years of age, with a booster shot given every 3 years as long as the patient remains in a high-risk area. An oral typhoid vaccine, appropriate for children 6 years and older, is not available in Kenya but may be given in your home country; check with your local health authority to find out. Children given the oral typhoid vaccine need boosters every 5 years. Note: the typhoid vaccine is not 100 percent effective and is not a substitute for being careful about what you eat and drink. Please ask the doctor if you need information about additional precautions to protect your family from contracting typhoid.
Yellow Fever Vaccine
Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by the yellow fever virus, spread by particular mosquito species. Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for travelers to high-risk areas (such as certain parts of Kenya, particularly Lake Baringo in the Rift Valley). Certain countries, including Egypt, South Africa and many countries in Asia and South America, require proof of vaccination against yellow fever before allowing travelers to enter. The latest World Health Organisation (WHO) statement is that the Yellow fever immunization is 1 dose only, with no booster needed. However, many international airport policies still require evidence of Yellow Fever Vaccine boosters every 10 years.