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Vaccination- Birth Right Of Every Child

Vaccination- Birth Right Of Every Child

Author: Dr. Arun Gupta
M.D. New born & Child specialist
Ph-27495603, 27477030, 9811106056

Q.1 What are vaccines? 
Vaccines are injections or oral drops, given by doctor, in order to prevent diseases. You must understand that vaccines only prevent occurrence of a disease; they have no role in treating a disease. Vaccines are disease specific; vaccine meant for a disease prevents only that disease. 
Q.2 How vaccines work? 
Vaccines are the wonders of 20th century. Their impact on the health of society can never be overemphasized. Global eradication of dreaded disease, like small pox is the most outstanding example of their success story. With their use, control and eradication of diseases like polio, diphtheria, tetanus is now within our reach. With ongoing research in this field, we can hope to have vaccines for diseases like AIDS, malaria, diarrhea [commonly caused by virus called rotavirus] in near future. 
Vaccination is absolutely necessary for every child. Because, prevention is always better than cure. It protects your child from many dreaded diseases, some of which have no cures like polio and hepatitis B. Apart from individual protection, they prevent spread of the disease in the society. 
Q.3 Are vaccines really necessary? 
Vaccines are the wonders of 20th century. Their impact on the health of society can never be overemphasized. Global eradication of dreaded disease, like small pox is the most outstanding example of their success story. With their use, control and eradication of diseases like polio, diphtheria, tetanus is now within our reach. With ongoing research in this field, we can hope to have vaccines for diseases like AIDS, malaria, diarrhea [commonly caused by virus called rotavirus] in near future. 
Vaccination is absolutely necessary for every child. Because, prevention is always better than cure. It protects your child from many dreaded diseases, some of which have no cures like polio and hepatitis B. Apart from individual protection, they prevent spread of the disease in the society. 
Q.4 Are vaccines safe? 
Yes. Most of the vaccines are safe. In some children D.P.T. can cause fever, pain and swelling at the site of injection which is easily controlled by paracetamol syrup prescribed by your doctor. But, even this can be avoided by using newer variety of D.P.T. vaccine. 
Rarely, a vaccine can cause allergic reaction, so you should be careful about following things:
  • Do remind your doctor about any allergic reaction during past vaccination.
  • It is preferable to wait at doctor’s clinic for 15-20 minutes after vaccination so that any allergic reaction can be treated immediately.
  • Qualified pediatrician’s clinic or hospital setup should be preferred for vaccination so that any allergic reaction could be properly managed
Q.5 What are the commonly advised vaccines? What is their schedule? 
Following are the commonly used vaccines 
 
POLIO VACCINE 
Protects from poliomyelitis, disease causing paralysis.
The only vaccine given in the form of oral drops.
First dose is given at birth. Starting from 6 weeks onwards 4 doses are given at monthly interval. 2 booster doses are given at 1 ½ and 4 ½ years
B.C.G.
Protects from tuberculosis; commonly known as TB.
Single dose is given at birth at left shoulder.
A small swelling appears at the site of injection 4-6 weeks later, which gradually disappears.
D.P.T. 
It is a combination vaccine which protects from three diseases namely diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (kali khansi).
Starting from 6 weeks 3 primary doses are given 4-6 weeks interval. Two booster doses are given at 1 ½ and 4-½ yr.
COMPONENT DPT VACCINE-(Tripacel)
Newer and safer variety of DPT vaccine. This vaccine has very low incidence of fever, swelling, excessive cry or convulsion unlike conventional DPT vaccine. Preferred over conventional DPT (whole cell vaccine).
MEASLES 
Protects from measles; also called khasara or chhoti mata.
Single dose is given around nine month of age.
Mild fever or small rashes may develop 5-6 days later which usually disappear spontaneously.
M.M.R.
It is combination vaccine protecting from three diseases namely measles, mumps (kanphed) and rubella (viral disease causing rashes).
Single dose is given at 15 months of age. A second dose is advised at 5-½ yrs of age.
HEPATITIS-B 
Vaccine prevents from viral hepatitis caused by hepatitis B virus. First dose is given at birth followed by second and third doses at the age of 1month and 6 month respectively. A booster is recommended at 5 yrs of age.
Hepatitis b is one of the fastest spreading & deadly disease. Spreads by transmission from infected mother to her baaby, transfusion of contaminated blood or blood product, or use of unsterilised needles and syringes etc.
Starting features are usually fever, jaundice, loss of appetite and weakness. Virus remains in the body for long time and may lead to liver cancer or cirrhosis. No effective treatment is available. Only way to prevent is timely vaccination. Must vaccines even for adults.
Hib 
Prevents from diseases caused by bacteria called hemofilus influenza type-b.
Three doses are given at 2, 4 and 6 months followed by a booster at 18 month of age. this vaccine is not needed for children above 5 yrs of age.
Hib is an important cause of meningitis (brain fever) in small children. It may cause pneumonia, infection of ear, bones or joints.
TYPHOID 
Presently available vaccine containing Vi antigen is given at 2 yrs of age. Repeat doses are given at 3 yrs interval.
Typhoid fever is fairly common in our country especially during summer and rainy season. It spreads through infected water, unclean vegetables etc. Vaccine does not provide absolute protection so food and water hygiene should always be maintained.
CHICKEN POX VACCINE 
Protects from chicken pox commonly known as chhoti mata.
Single shot is given after one year of age. Very effective vaccine. Not needed in those who have already suffered from chicken pox.
Chicken poxis a viral disease characterized by fever, water filled rashes all over body and intense itching all over body. Usually disease is mild and self-limiting but may leave permanent scars over body. At times serious complication like involvement of brain and other organs by virus may occur, which are difficult to manage and may leave permanent damage.
HEPATITIS-A 
Protects from viral hepatitis caused by hepatitis A virus. First dose is given at 1 year of age followed by second dose 6 months later.
Hepatitis-A virus spreads through contaminated water, food, raw uncooked vegetables or unhygienic juices, ice creams, sugarcane juice, gol gappa etc from vendors. Faifly common disease during summers and rainy season. Presenting features area fever, jaundice, loss of appetite and weakness. No effective drug is available against virus. Mostly self limiting disease but complications may occur leading to liver failure. 
 
Q.6 General Precautions 
All vaccines provide fairly good degree of protection still other routine preventive measures should be taken.
Follow vaccination appointment strictly. If your child misses an appointment, get it done at the earliest. Delayed or missed doses may keep your child exposed to the disease and it may require rescheduling of further course.
Vaccination can be given in presence of mild illnesses like cold and cough. In children vaccination is usually the part of general health checkup which involves child’s growth monitoring and timely supplementation of vitamins and iron. So it is advisable to get these done from a qualified pediatrician in your area.
Some of the vaccines are relatively costly, but considering the cost of medical therapy for the disease and loss of school & working days by parents it is advisable to go for these vaccines.

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