15 September, 2009

Importance of Vaccination for a child

Since vaccination began in the late 18th century, there is a dispute over the morality, ethics, effectiveness, and safety of vaccination. The opponents have claimed that vaccines do not work, that they are/may be dangerous, that individuals should rely on personal hygiene instead, or that mandatory vaccinations violate individual rights or religious principles. and finally after all these disputes, it takes several years to regain public confidence in the vaccine.

Mass vaccination helped to eliminate smallpox, which once killed as many as every seventh child in Europe.Vaccination has almost eradicated polio.

Different vaccines work best when given at certain ages.For example, the measles vaccine is usually not given until the child is at least one year old.It may not work so well if it is given earlier than the recommended age.Some vaccines like *DTaP / IPV / Hib need to be given as a series of injections to work best.

1. Hameophilus Influenza type B (HiB)
2. Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus (DTaP)
3. Inactivated Polio (IPV)

What Happens If the Child Misses A Shot?
If your child did not get her shots on time, don't worry, it's not too late.If your child has gotten some of his/her shots and then fallen behind schedule, he/she can catch up without having to start the whole schedule again.

Combination Vaccines
Combination vaccines such as mumps, rubella (MMR),measles, are few vaccines given together in a single shot. Both doctors as well as parents like them because, it enables a person to receive several vaccines in one shot.

The recommended immunization schedule is as follows :
At BirthBCG Hepatitis B - 1st dose
After 2 monthsHexa (It includes Hepatitis B, DTaP, HiB, IPV)
After 4 monthsDTaP/IPV/Hib - 2nd dose
After 6 monthsHexa(1 year Hepatitis B for children born to Hep B carrier mothers only)
After 15 monthsMMRVaricella (Chicken pox)
After 18 monthsDTaP/IPV/Hib - 1st booster
After 6 - 7 yearsDT - 2nd boosterOral Sabin - 2nd booster
After 11 - 12 yearsDT - 3rd boosterOral Sabin - 3rd boosterMMR - 2nd dose
Note : From >6 years onwards, booster MMR can be given

Vaccination Checklist
Sometimes a child should not be given a particular vaccine or it should be given at a later date. Therefore tell your doctor if your child:

Will Vaccines Always Work ?
Vaccinations work most of the time. According to research about 90-99% of the children will develop immunity to them. However, a child may not respond to vaccine. This is another reason why all childrens need to be vaccinated. A child who has not responded to a particular vaccine could be infected by a child who is not vaccinated, but not by one who is immune.

Is Vaccination Safe ?
Vaccination is generally a very safe procedure.Like other medications, occasionally they can cause reactions.Most of these are mild, such as a sore arm or mild fever. Serious reactions are rare but can occasionally happen.One can also develop a chicken pox-like rash after being vaccinated against chicken pox.If there are any serious reactions, go to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can discuss the risks before vaccinating your child. Note that getting the disease is generally much more serious than the side-effects of the vaccine.