Since the last century, the child mortality rate has come down significantly. One of the major reasons behind is the formulations and invention of vaccines. Every parent or caretaker wants the baby to be healthy and happy and vaccines have become very essential for it.
Although the child’s immune system fights back diseases on its own since the baby is very young and the immune system hasn’t matured yet, the immunity of the baby is not strong enough to fight all the diseases. A vaccine provides the baby’s immune system a mock drill which boosts the baby’s immunity and the baby’s immune system prepares itself to fight back the disease.
Many parents are often reluctant about vaccinating their children. The core of this reluctance is the thinking that the immunity of the baby should develop naturally. However, it should be realized that immunization speeds up the process and makes it more effective. But what is actually at work is the baby’s immune system itself.
Another myth regarding the vaccine is that only babies should get vaccinated. This is not entirely true. Adults can also get shots of vaccines. If there is a disease you have not been vaccinated for in your childhood, you should talk to your physician. The doctor would suggest to you what vaccines and when should you get the shots.
Regarding the government and private vaccines, there is a presumption that the government vaccines are of low or quality. There is nothing like that. Both the vaccines are effective but there are some differences in other nature. For example, for cost-cutting, the vaccine provided by the government covers two or three diseases which means that the baby will have to get pricked more times. But in private vaccines, the coverage is generally of five diseases or more which means that the baby will have to go through fewer injections. If you want to cut the cost, government vaccines are a budget-friendly option and you can go with it without any issue.
People often ask questions about the safety of vaccines. There should be no doubt regarding safety. Vaccines go through many phases of clinical trials before being launched in the market. Even after the launch of the vaccine, the pharma company keeps track of the responses and feedbacks of the people who have taken the shots. If there appears any issue or doubt, the scientist immediately start working and they are constantly vigilant about it. Therefore, it can be said that the vaccines are safe for your child. And even if there are side effects sometimes, they are mild though to not cause any harm.
The article discusses the vaccines that are and must be given to the child in his or her first year.
At the time of birth, the baby is given BCG or Bacillus Calmette Guerin shot in most tuberculosis (TB) endemic countries, including India.
OPV or Oral Polio Vaccine is another vaccine that is to be given at birth to protect the child from poliomyelitis. Polio is a virus that causes permanent paralysis and can be prevented easily by the vaccine. More doses of this vaccine are given in the later stages to 4 years of age.
Hep B is a vaccine to build immunity against the disease hepatitis B which affects the liver of a person. It requires a total of three shots to complete the immunization.
6 weeks old
At the age of 6 weeks, the following vaccines are given to the infant.
DTaP- This vaccine provides protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. It requires a total of 5 doses and Tdap or Td booster are also given.
IPV- It is the Inactivated Polio Vaccine. it is given through injections in the arms or legs to prevent infection of poliovirus. It is given in a total of four doses.
Hep B- This is the second dose of hepatitis B vaccine to prevent a disease which affects the liver.
Hib- Hib vaccine is given to prevent the Haemophilus influenzae type b. Generally in fact the children but the adults can also get infected under certain medical conditions.
PCV- Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine is given to the baby to prevent the disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus Pneumoniae such as pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteremia.
RV- This vaccine provides protection against the diseases caused by Rotavirus. Though it can be cured by the baby on his or her own the doctors recommend the vaccine because it is highly contagious.
By 6 months of age the third dose of the following vaccines should be given to the child- Hep B, RV, DTaP, Hib, PCV, and IPV.
The child should also be given TCV or Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine to fight the typhoid disease and the influenza vaccine shot to build immunity against the seasonal flu.
Around the first year of age, the child should be given the following vaccinations-
MMR- The vaccine protects against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella diseases. The vaccine is given in two doses.
Hep A- This vaccine is given to protect the child from the disease Hepatitis A. The vaccine is given by the end of the first and second year of the child.
JE- The JE vaccine is given to build immunity against Japanese Encephalitis.
Vaccines are a brilliant way to boost the immunity of your child and therefore, shouldn’t be ignored. It shouldn’t be taken seriously to keep the child healthy and happy.