Unvaccinated kid falling sick

The Hidden Symptoms of Preventable Diseases in Babies

Consequences of not following the recommended vaccination schedule.
By the team at Speedoc,
July 15, 2023

In Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has suggested that all children from birth to the age of 18 should be vaccinated according to the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule  (NCIS) for optimal health protection. Timely vaccinations and doses following the recommended schedule aims to boost the immunity of babies from the following vaccine-preventable diseases:

  • Seasonal Flu

  • Varicella (VAR)

  • Poliovirus (IPV)

  • Hepatitis B (HepB)

  • Pneumococcal Disease (PCV)

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP)

  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)

Baby receiving Speedoc's home-based vaccinations

Consider the potential illnesses

Hepatitis B (HepB)

Unvaccinated baby suffering from jaundice HepB infection

HepB is a viral infection that causes inflammation and damage to the liver. HepB virus can transmit through contact with infected blood and body fluids. It can take place during childbirth which makes newborn babies more susceptible to the disease. HepB can be chronic and lasting under undesirable development into liver scarring or even liver cancer. Patients of HepB could experience symptoms such as: 

  • Fatigue 

  • Abdominal pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Grey coloured faeces 

  • Jaundice with yellowing of skin and eyes

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis

Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis are transmitted through respiratory droplets when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. Children suffering from these diseases may suffer from the following symptoms:





Heart failure

Body dysfunctionality

Breathing and swallowing difficulties



Nerve damage

Lockjaw (mouth tightly closed)

Burdening breathing and swallowing actions


Whooping cough

Breathing difficulties 

Problems with eating and drinking

Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis are serious diseases in children. A tetanus infection occurs when an individual obtains a cut or puncture wound caused by contaminated objects. 

In Singapore, immunisation against diphtheria and measles are compulsory by law. Children will not be allowed to enrol into school without receiving these vaccinations.


Poliovirus is a highly contagious disease that damages the nervous systems in humans. It can easily spread through contact with infected patients, faeces with the virus, and contaminated food and water. Symptoms of poliovirus can be distinct. In some cases, they might be mild and uneasy to realise but some are acute which leads to lifelong harm to the patient's health. Examples of symptoms resulting from poliovirus are:

  • Fever

  • Death

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • Muscle weakness

  • Paralysis (immobility)

  • Breathing difficulties

Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)

Hib is also an airborne disease that spreads through respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes. Children especially those under the age of five are highly susceptible to Hib. Symptoms of Hib include

  • Stiff neck

  • Poor feeding

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Bloodstream infection

  • Bulging fontanelle (soft spots on the baby’s head)

  • Meningitis (inflammation of brain and spinal cord cells)

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

Measles, mumps and rubella are three different types of potentially fatal viral infections that spread through respiratory droplets. Varying symptoms from these diseases can be very painful, much less harmful. Respective symptoms of these three contagious diseases are:





Ear infection

Distinct rashes all over the body

Encephalitis (brain inflammation)


Muscle aches

Organs inflammation

Swollen cheeks or jaw

Meningitis (inflammation of brain and spinal cord cells)


Swollen lymph nodes

Rashes (from face to the rest of the body)

Note: Babies could encounter birth defects and serious developmental problems if the mother had rubella during pregnancy

In 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned about the risk of measles spreading across various regions around the globe. A drop in vaccination rate and disease surveillance are spotted under the redistribution of resources and the change of focus towards the COVID-19 pandemic. Although measles infections can nearly be entirely prevented with vaccination, the condition of over 95% of the population receiving two doses of recognised vaccine need to be fulfilled to truly achieve herd immunity. The current global rate of children receiving the MMR vaccine is around 25% lower than the percentage needed to achieve herd immunity.

Speedoc home-based baby vaccination Singapore

Varicella (VAR)

Varicella is more commonly known as chickenpox which primarily affects children with 90% of cases occurring in the group of young children. Varicella is easily transmitted through direct contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters and respiratory droplets of patients. Early stages of infection might seem like a common flu. However, itchy, red spots and rashes will arise in later stages and eventually turn into fluid-filled blisters that act as transmission agents. A chickenpox rash can spread through the entire body from the scalp to the face and other body parts. 

In severe cases, complications might occur in children with weakened immune systems that lead to:  

  • Pneumonia

  • Bacterial skin infection

  • Liver and other organ damages

  • Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)

Chicken pox infection

Pneumococcal Disease (PCV)

Pneumococcal disease spreads through respiratory droplets and close contact with contaminated surfaces. Pneumococcal disease can manifest as various symptoms such as: 

  • Ear pain

  • Irritability

  • High fever

  • Pneumonia

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Confusion and fluctuations in mental states

Seasonal Flu 

Seasonal flu is an airborne disease also known as influenza. The flu could make us feel unwell and also disrupt our daily activities. In children, what seems like a regular flu can result in symptoms like:

  • High fever

  • Pneumonia

  • Ear infection

  • Muscle ache

  • Sinus infection

  • Vomiting or diarrhoea 

  • Worsening of pre-existing chronic health conditions

Speedoc children's health for sick babies

In conclusion, vaccinations and good hygiene practices can greatly prevent children from getting sick. Before your little one gets vaccinated, it is imperative that parents do some research and ask your medical provider questions in order to better understand how the vaccines can protect your child’s health for years to come.

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