In Hungary, according to the prevailing legislation, children must be vaccinated against certain types of infections in order to prevent the diseases.
In Hungary, mandatory vaccines can be divided into two groups according to the immunization (vaccination) schedule. Continuous vaccines are provided by the GP at specified ages of the children, while campaign vaccines are ensured by the school-physician for children attending a particular school-year. Vaccinations must be recorded in the vaccination section of the Healthcare Booklet. In Hungary, the below listed vaccines are mandatory for children.
Continuous vaccines are provided for children at specified ages by their GP. Continuous vaccines are as followed:
BCG-vaccine protects infants and young children against miliar tuberculosis (a form of tuberculosis which affects the whole body) and purulent meningitis caused by tuberculosis. In Hungary, every newborn’s vaccination is mandatory against tuberculosis.
Newborns must be vaccinated at the Obstetrician Departments or within 4 weeks after birth. If a newborn does not get vaccinated at the Obstetrician Department, they must be vaccinated within 4 weeks after birth, or no later than their first birthday. In these situations (e.g. a Hungarian newborn citizen born abroad, or a newborn with foreign citizenship staying longterm in Hungary) the county’s medical officer decides on, and organizes the BCG vaccination of the children.
BCG-vaccines are introduced into the skin (intracutaneous route), which requires expertise, therefore only skilled healthcare employees can apply them appropriately.
DTPa + IPV + Hib vaccines
Primary series of vaccination are provided when the children reach their age of 2-months, 3-months and 4-months with a combined vaccine containing DTPa + IPV + Hib vaccine parts. The first booster vaccine is given at 18 months of age with a combined vaccine containing DTPa + IPV + Hib vaccine parts. The second booster vaccine is given at 6 years of age with a combined vaccine containing DTPa + IPV vaccine parts.
DTPa: a combined vaccine against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus (lockjaw).
IPV: a vaccine containing inactivated poliovirus that protects against poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis).
Hib: vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae type B bacterium, which causes the infection of the epiglottis (epiglottitis) and which might lead to suffocation.
PCV13-vaccine protects against several diseases caused by the bacterium called Pneumococci. Primary series of vaccination is given at 2 months and 4 months of age, at the same time when the DTPa + IPV + Hib vaccination is provided.
The booster vaccine is given at 12 months of age. Tha vaccine must be introduced at two different body regions.
MMR-vaccine contains live, attenuated viruses against measles, mumps and rubella. Children are vaccinated with it at 15 months of age.
The vaccine contains live, attenuated viruses and protects against chicken pox. Vaccination must be provided for children who have not been through chicken pox.
The first vaccine is given at 13 months of age, the second at 16 months of age.
After the age of 11, continuous vaccines are provided within the scope of campaign vaccines in school. Although continuous vaccination has several merits, children between ages 11-14 are easier vaccinated in the school than individually.
Campaign vaccines are provided for children attending a particular school-year and they are not linked strictly to the students’ age. Aside from the specific, pre-determined school-year, a student coming from another, lower year can only be vaccinated if presumably they will never proceed to the school-year appointed for the vaccination.
The following campaign vaccines are available in Hungary:
MMR-vaccine contains live, attenuated viruses against measles, mumps and rubella. The booster vaccine is provided for children in the 6th-year of primary school.
Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (dTap) booster vaccine
dTap is a combined vaccine protecting against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus (jawlock). The booster vaccine is provided for children in the 6th-year of primary school.
Hepatitis B vaccines
The vaccine protects against one form of the viral liver inflammation (hepatitis B virus). The vaccine is provided for children in the 7th-year of primary school, in two rounds (autumn and spring).
If newborns are vaccinated against hepatitis-B as a part of the vaccination program for hepatitis B prevention, their booster vaccination during adolescence within the school campaign vaccination is not necessary. Vaccination status can be verified by the Healthcare Booklet or other healthcare documents (records).
The same regulation applies to those children who had been vaccinated against hepatitis B previously or who can certify their vaccination status by these documents at the time of the campaign vaccination.
The National Public Health Centre (in Hungarian: Nemzeti Népegészségügyi Központ, NNK) annually releases their Immunization guideline which contains the official immunization (vaccination) schedule applying for the particular calendar year.