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Why Is It Necessary To Get Your Child Vaccinated And Immunized?

Parents have a lot of apprehensions when it comes to vaccinating or immunising their babies. Some parents fear the harmful side effects associated with vaccinations. There is nothing to be sceptical about vaccinations. In fact, timely vaccinations and immunisations will shield your baby from serious health complications and ailments.

For your baby to enjoy good health, the following vaccines are a must.

1. MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine

Measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles) virus can cause havoc, affecting the health of your child severely. The main aim of the MMR vaccine (an amalgamation of the live attenuated viruses of the three viral ailments) is to protect your child against the three viral diseases.

The vaccine comes in a series of two injections (the first dose between 12-15 months of age and the second between 4-6 years of age).

The vaccine should be immediately stopped if there is an allergic reaction following the first dose.

2. Tdap (Diphtheria, Tetanus toxoids, and Pertussis) booster

Tetanus (a bacterial disease affecting the nervous system of the body), diphtheria (a bacterial infection where the mucous membrane of the nose and the throat are affected) and pertussis (affecting the respiratory system) have had deleterious effects on children since time immemorial.

A single dose of Tdap booster or Adacel (diphtheria, tetanus acellular, and pertussis adult vaccine) given to children between 10-12 years of age is enough to provide the necessary protection.

3. IPV (Inactivated Poliovirus vaccine)

Vaccinating children with IPV becomes the top priority. There is a four-stage dosage of the vaccination (2-months, 4-months, 6-18 months and a final booster at 4-6 years of age). Do not miss the IPV at any cost. Timely vaccination can save many lives.

4. Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae type b) vaccine

The Hib (Haemophilus influenza type-b) is a bacterial disease that affects children under 5 years of age, resulting in serious health complications, such as pneumonia, difficulty in breathing, blood, bones, and joints infection and even death. The Hib vaccine provides children with the much-needed protection from the dreadful disease.

The vaccine may be a 3 or 4 dosage step, depending on the brand used.

Children can receive the dose at two months of age, four months, six months, depending on the vaccine used, and finally between 12-15 months of age.

5. Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B vaccinations

Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are viral infections that need to be controlled and prevented at the earliest. A vaccine called the Twinrix provides protection against both the viral infections (Hepatitis A & B).  

Twinrix can be given to children and teenagers between 1-18 years. The first dose is given at a particular date, and the second dose is given exactly a month after the first one. The third dose is given six months after the first dose. In most cases, the side effects are almost negligible.

6. PCV13 (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine)

The Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine immunises your child against pneumococcal meningitis and pneumonia. Infants are usually given the PCV13 immunisation in a series of four injections (Two months of age, four months, six months and 12-15 months of age). Refrain from immunising infants who are allergic to PCV13. Post PCV13 immunisation, there may be mild fever, rashes, and swelling at the injection site.

7. Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine

This is an important vaccine to protect your child from chickenpox. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends all children (fit and healthy) between 12 months - 12 years should receive two doses of the vaccine. Administration of the first dose should be between 12 - 15 months and the second dose between 4 - 6 years of age.

The vaccination may result in fever, rashes, swelling, and redness(at the site of injection). Serious consequences (brain injury, low platelet count, or acute hemiparesis) are, however, very rare.

8. RV (Rotavirus Vaccine)

The rotavirus has long been affecting infants and children, causing acute diarrhoea, dehydration, and in extreme cases, even death. Thus, it is important to get the babies vaccinated against this virus.

The CDC recommends two doses of the vaccine. The first dose must be given to babies before 15 weeks of age and the second dose, by 8-months of age. However, avoid vaccinating babies who are allergic to the vaccine.

In general,

1. Vaccinations provide protection from many acute diseases.

2. Vaccinations have helped to control incidences of polio, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, and whooping cough (pertussis).

3. It ensures the protection of the future generations as well.

4. Most of the vaccinations are safe with negligible side effects.

5. The vaccinations are usually government-funded and thus, less expensive.

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