Vaccinations – you can’t do without

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The little hero in your hands needs to be healthy, healthier and healthiest, to become a Superhero. And this is impossible without vaccinations. But not many parents tend to be serious about them. Perhaps, thinking of side-effects, many a time, because of cost, and at others, discarding the issue as useless.

Not only does your child need vaccinations according to the Schedule Card, but also Category 2 vaccines i.e.

  • ROTAVIRUS:
    Rotavirus is the commonest infection causing diarrhea in children, and 95% of them get infected by them by 3-5 years of age. Spread through the feco-oral route, Rotavirus damages the inner lining of the small intestine responsible for resorption, leading to large watery stools subsequently causing severe and life-threatening dehydration.
    The Rotavirus vaccine is given in the form of oral drops from 1 ½ month of age as a 2-dose schedule, before the age of 6 months. It is not recommended after the age of 6 months.

  • FLU:
    Flu is a viral infection caused by Influenza virus, which causes attacks of cold, sneezing, fever and bodyache. This infection may pre-dispose for severe bacterial infections and precipitate asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals. The Flu vaccine is given in the 1st year of life in 2 doses 1 month apart from the age 6 months onwards and 1 vaccine each year thereafter.

  • CHICKEN POX: It is a viral illness spread by cough, sneezing or skin-to-skin contact. The severity of infection increases with advancing age, so it’s unwise to wait for the infection to happen and provide lifelong immunity.
    The first dose of the Chicken Pox vaccine is given at 1 year of age, and the 2nd booster is given at 5 years of age.

  • HEPATITIS A:
    Hepatitis A is the most common cause of jaundice in children. Besides Hepatitis B, this is the only form of hepatitis that is vaccine-preventable. The severity of the infection increases with advancing age. It may lead to serious secondary bacterial infections, further leading to liver failure proving fatal.
    2 doses of Hepatitis A vaccine given from the age 1 year onwards, 6 months apart, are sufficient to prevent its occurrence.

  • PNEUMOCOCCAL:
    Pneumococcal infections are bacterial infections which may cause meningitis, ear and sinus infections, pneumonia and severe blood infections which are potentially life-threatening. This infection spreads from one to the other by air-borne droplets released during sneezing or coughing. Kids less than 2 years of age are more susceptible to pneumococcal infections. Pneumococcal Vaccine is given at the age of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 1 ½ years. It provides protection for 9 years.

  • CERVICAL CANCER VACCINE:
    Cervical cancer, occurring in girls and women, is the cancer of the tissues of the cervix which connects the uterus and the vagina. It is triggered by a virus (HPV). Now a vaccine is available for it. It is given to females from 10-45 years of age, as a three dose schedule within 6 months.
    Vaccines prevent occurrence or even outbreak of serious and fatal infections. Although they do not promise that the disease won’t occur at all, they minimize the severity of the disease in a considerable way. For school-going children, they reduce school-day loss, and of course, there is respite from ugly scars from chicken pox and the like.
    When your child gets the best books, the best toys, the best clothes, why not the best vaccine?

  • BOOSTER DTP:
    Booster DTP vaccination is essential to protect children above 5 years of age against three life threatening diseases: Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis. Three boosters are required till ten years of age. After them, there is no need for an extra tetanus shot for every injury.


BREAKING MYTHS

MYTH 1: Getting so many vaccines may challenge my child’s immune system
A baby’s body is bombarded with immunologic challenges from bacteria in food to the dust they breathe, vaccines are just a drop in the ocean! In fact, they protect.

MYTH 2: As long as other children are getting vaccinations, mine don’t need to be
Skipping vaccinations puts your baby at greater risk for potentially life-threatening diseases. And what if all parents think so?

MYTH 3: Now that major illnesses have largely disappeared, we really don’t need vaccines any more.
We can never bet on it. There are still outbreaks of measles and pertussis and kids even die of them. Unvaccinated children spread infection to vulnerable family members.

MYTH 4: My baby may get the disease it’s supposed to prevent.
No, most vaccines given today contain killed viruses or weakened viruses, so there’s no risk, and even if an immune response is provoked, it is much less than if the child contracted the disease itself.

MYTH 5: Even I had chicken pox when I was kid and it isn’t a big deal.
Yes, at times. Moreover, getting these diseases as an adult could be very serious and fatal.