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Baby Vaccination: The First Step Towards Healthy Life

Baby Vaccination is something that is mandatory for the growth and development of newborn babies. These vaccines are designed to prevent infants and young children from several possible diseases like flu, whooping cough, measles, mumps, polio or tetanus. Doctors and parents lay great stress on the vaccination schedule of a baby. Child’s doctors provide a vaccination schedule that mentions the name of vaccines that are compulsory for a child, along with the time at which they are to be administered.

A few years back, the Indian government has introduced several vaccines and various free health care programs to overcome the increasing rate of different serious illnesses. Vaccination for baby is the most effective way to eliminate infectious diseases.

What is The Vaccine?

“Developing a strong immune system by injecting weakened bacteria”

Vaccines are the dead or sometimes weakened bacteria/virus or microorganisms that are responsible for causing various diseases. Once the vaccine is injected, the body automatically starts producing antibodies to fight with those dead bacteria. This results in the immunization of the body to the bacteria/virus of a particular type. With the help of shots, the child gets immunized which reduces the chances of the baby contracting the disease. Therefore, the childhood vaccine provides a healthy and disease-free body.

Types Of Vaccine

The pediatrician issues a schedule suggesting the name of the vaccine and the time/age at which it is to be administered to the baby. There are different types of vaccines that should be administered to a child. Some of these are:

  • BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin): This is an Anti-Tuberculosis Vaccine administered to babies at birth.
  • Hep B (Hepatitis B): This Vaccine protects the infant against infection of Hepatitis B.
  • OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine): OPV is a live attenuated Oral polio Vaccine administered as two drops usually at birth and continued later on at regular intervals.
  • IPV (Inactive Polio Vaccine): This injectable Vaccine is also known as Salk Vaccine
  • DPT(Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Pertussis): Administered as an intramuscular injection into the thigh of the child, this Vaccine provides protection against Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus. DPT is available in three forms – DTwP, DTaP, and Tdap
  • Hib (Hemophilus Influenza Type B): This Vaccine confers immunity against complications like Meningitis and Pneumonia caused by Hemophilus Influenza Virus.
  • PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine) & PPSV (Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine): These Vaccines protect children from illnesses, such as Pneumonia, Meningitis, and other complications caused by Streptococcus Pneumonia.
  • RV (Rotavirus): It protects infants against Diarrheal diseases caused by Rotavirus.
  • Measles: It provides protection against Measles
  • MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella): The MMR Vaccine confers immunity against Measles, Mumps, and German Measles.
  • Varicella: This Vaccine provides protection from Chicken Pox
  • Hepatitis A: It protects the child from infection caused by Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid: It provides immunity against Typhoid
  • HPV (Human Papilloma Virus): This Vaccine protects girl child against Cervical Cancer

Other Vaccinations include Influenza Vaccine, Meningococcal Vaccine, Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine (JE), Cholera Vaccine, Rabies Vaccine, and Yellow Fever Vaccine. Along with these vaccines, there are some combination vaccines also available. Combination vaccines are a combination of two or more vaccines given to the infant in a single shot. For example Pediarix, which combines DTaP, Hep B, and IPV (polio), ProQuad, which combines MMR and varicella, and Kinrix, which combines DTaP and IPV (polio).

Benefits of Baby Vaccination

The major benefit of vaccination is that it builds a strong immune system that protects the body from several diseases. Some of the vaccine-preventable diseases are amputation of an arm or leg, paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, brain damage, death and so on. Every newborn should get vaccinated for the healthy growth and development. Safe and effective, all vaccines are manufactured after a long and careful review and research by scientists, doctors, and the government.

Complications After Vaccination of Child

With the merit of developing immune system, baby vaccination may also carry some side effects. Some of the complications that may arise after every vaccination process are sore arm, low-grade fever, headache, itching, redness & swelling at the site of injection, and fatigue. Along with all these, it may also cause several rare side effects such as allergic reactions or seizure. These side effects get recovered in less time.

If the child is seriously ill at the date of vaccination, he/she might be asked to come back later for the same as it may be harmful for the child to get injected with such microorganisms.

Never Forget the Precautions

Never forget the precautions before going for vaccination. Always take care of the following points:

  • Discuss with the doctor about mandatory and optional Vaccines
  • Check out with the child’s doctor if the baby has any serious Allergies, Fever, Cold, History of Convulsions, Family History of HIV/AIDS and others.
  • Don’t leave the clinic immediately after a shot, wait at the clinic for a few minutes post shot to check for any adverse reaction
  • Don’t panic if mild complications such as Redness or Swelling occurs at the site of injection and Slight Fever
  • Call for medical help if the condition of a child become worst and consult with your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Use a cool sponge to overcome the fever caused by the shots.
  • Cool wet cloth will be beneficial to reduce the redness and soreness and swelling.

Read here about: Right Time for Baby Vaccination 

Baby Vaccination Plans in India

To reduce the case of these serious illnesses, the government of India has introduced various vaccination plans. Many committees are working hard for immunization to prevent such serious diseases. Vaccination Plan in India is as per recommendations provided by the following organizations:

  • Ministry of Health, Govt. of India, and
  • The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP)

Recommendations provided by the Govt. of India as per the Universal Immunization Program is as follows:

  • At Birth: BCG and OPV
  • 6, 10 & 14 Weeks: DPT and OPV
  • 6 to 9 Months: OPV
  • 9 Months: Measels Vaccine
  • 15 to 18 Months: DPT Booster and OPV
  • 5 Years: DPT and OPV
  • 10 Years: Tetanus
  • 15 Years: Tetanus

Recommendations provided by Indian Academy of Pediatrics are for two categories:

  1. For Routine Use
  2. For High-risk Children

IAP Recommendations for Routine Use:

  • At Birth: BCG, OPV, and Hep B
  • 6 Weeks: DTwP / DTaP, IPV, Hep B, Hib, RV, and PCV
  • 10 Weeks: DTwP / DTaP, IPV, Hib, RV, and PCV
  • 14 Weeks: DTwP / DTaP, IPV, Hib, RV, and PCV
  • 6 Months: OPV and Hep B
  • 9 Months: OPV and Measels Vaccine
  • 12 Months: Hep A
  • 15 Months: MMR, Varicella, and PCV Booster
  • 16 to 18 Months: DTwP / DTaP, IPV, and Hib
  • 18 Months: Hep A
  • 2 Years: Typhoid
  • 4 and a Half Years to 5 Years: DTwP / DTaP, OPV, MMR, Varicella, and Typhoid
  • 10 Years to 12 Years: TdaP / Td and HPV

IAP Recommendations for High-Risk Children: Recommendations for High-Risk Children include all the vaccines for routine use with an additional dosage of certain Vaccines at defined intervals, such as Influenza Vaccine, Meningococcal Vaccine, JE Vaccine, Cholera Vaccine, Rabies Vaccine, Yellow Fever Vaccine, and PPSV.

Read here about: Know Your Child’s Vaccine Schedule: What Shots Baby Needs & When 

International Guidelines Relevant in India

The Immunization Schedule as per the Indian Academy of Pediatrics based on international guidelines considers recommendations of reputed international bodies, such as World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The organization follows guidelines set by the WHO in the following areas:

According to WHO guidelines, most countries administer Rotavirus Vaccine at 6, 10, 14 weeks schedules. IAP recommends providing the Vaccine at 10 and 14 weeks schedule.

WHO reveals that India faces a peak in Influenza virus circulation before the onset of the rainy season. IAP has provided specific recommendations for Influenza Vaccination in different parts of the country.

IAP follows the below-listed recommendations made by the CDC:

  • Administering Hep B at Birth before hospital discharge
  • Subsequent doses of Hep B after Birth Dose are as per CDC guidelines
  • The minimum age for Rotavirus Vaccines is 6 weeks. The maximum age for the first dose in the series is 14 weeks, 6 days; and for the final dose is 8 months, 0 days. No Vaccination required for infants aged 15 weeks, 0 days or older.
  • The minimum age for DTP, PCV, & Hib is 6 weeks
  • The minimum age for MMR, Varicella, and Hep A is 12 months

Choose Vaccination For The Healthy Immune System

Vaccination is something that will decide your children’s healthy life. Child shots work effectively only if done on time and according to the vaccination schedule. It may cause some side effects but for very less time. It helps in building up the immune system of kids so that they grow healthy and happy. Baby vaccination works effectively only if done on time and according to the schedule. Parents should always follow the vaccination schedule prescribed by doctors. Get every child vaccinated for better health conditions and a healthy future.

Also, read about the development of a child in the first four weeks of being born here.

To keep a track of the vaccination schedule, consult with the best pediatrician near you or book appointment with Best Pediatrician in India here.

For more information or personal guidance, talk to Credihealth Medical Expert today.

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