Should routine immunisations be given to a sick child?

There are very few general contraindications to immunisation. Infants with a skin rash or minor illness such as a ‘cold,’ cough or mild fever below 38 °C should be immunised. If the infant has diarrhoea when OPV is due, give OPV but ask the mother to bring the child back for an extra dose of polio drops when the infant is again well. Mark on the card that an extra dose of OPV is needed due to diarrhoea. It is important to immunise sick and malnourished children to protect them against these illnesses. If a child is not immunised because of a minor illness, they may not be brought back later and the opportunity to immunise is lost.

Minor illnesses and malnutrition are not a contraindications to immunisation.

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