FAQs For Newborn Vaccinations

According to National Immunization Schedule, one dose each of three vaccines, OPV, BCG and Hepatitis B, should be given to newborns irrespective of place of delivery. This is recommended for all institutional and non-institutional deliveries, in public and private sectors.

Yes. Time limit for vaccines recommended for new-borns is as follows:

  • Hepatitis B (known as “birth dose”): should be given within 24 hours of birth to protect the new-born from possible Hepatitis B infection that gets transferred from mother during delivery. If birth dose of Hepatitis B vaccine is given beyond 24 hours, then it will not provide this protection. However, maximum protection against Hepatitis B transmission is provided if the vaccine is given within 12 hours of birth.7
  • OPV (known as “zero dose”): should be given within 15 days of birth, day of birth taken as day zero.
  • BCG: should be given as early as possible after birth to provide maximum protection from childhood tuberculosis infection. BCG vaccine should not be given to the child beyond one year of age.

The dose of OPV given at birth is called the “zero dose” because:

  • It is an “extra” dose that adds to the protection of the individual and the community
  • It is given before the scheduled three primary doses