Know About the Immunization for Your Child

Parenting is a whole time job that is more demanding than any kind of job ever existing in the world. Raising a child comes with a lot of decisions, right from deciding the color of the child’s room to the kind of environment you are going to create for the faster growth and development of your child. You make every safety change and measures to safe guard the child’s life and health from all the possible hazards. But there are possible hazards that can harm your child from within.

There are in all fourteen diseases for which immunizations have to be taken in order to ensure a safe and sound health of your child. Here is a little guide on the same, we hope it helps you!

Why does my child need to be immunized?

Babies are born with protection against the possible diseases due to the immunity power and antibodies that is given to the children in the mother’s body through the placenta. But as soon as the baby is born, slowly the antibodies given by the mother starts to fade off. As a result, there is a need to create the strong immunity into the child’s body to prevent the child from any disease and help the body fight against the diseases on its own.

Babies should be immunized to create immunity to certain diseases so that they fend off the infections and build a strong defend system to fight against the possible bacteria that may get into the body anytime in the future.

What is a vaccine?

Vaccine or immunization is a way of creating immunity to certain diseases to prevent the body from catching those diseases. These are small amounts of killed and weakened microorganisms that cause those particular diseases. These microorganisms can be viruses like the measles virus or bacteria. These vaccines stimulate the immune systems causing the body to react as if there is a real infection and make them fight against it. This fends off the infections and makes the body remember the organism to fight with any future occurrence of it.

Why are immunizations needed in the childhood?

Immunization is needed in childhood as the child’s body only has temporary antibodies that have been passed on to them through their mother in the womb or through the breast milk. These antibodies shall stay in their body only for a short while and after that the child’s body shall be exposed to many serious diseases for which the child’s body is incapable to fight and may suffer. The immunization helps create the permanent and more reliable immunity into the body from an early age to help prevent the child’s body from catching any serious disease.
Immunization is a precautionary measure and so it is undertaken at the earliest years of birth.

What are the types of immunizations and what’s their function?

There are almost fourteen types of essential serious disease immunizations that are very important to be given to the baby at the right time. Each immunization helps build immunity towards one disease and saves the body from catching the diseases. They are:

Chicken Pox: Chickenpox immunization is very effective and is a much safer option than getting chicken pox. However, people with proper dose may still get chicken pox. There are two doses of chicken pox immunization:

  1. First dose: At 12 months to 15 months of age
  2. Second dose: At 4 years to 6 years of age

The second dose should be taken at least three months after the first dose. However, one may even take the immunization after achieving adulthood in which case the two doses should not have a time gap of more than 28 days.

Common vaccines: MMRV – Combines measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccine; Varicella – varicella vaccine

Diphtheria: This vaccine prevents from diphtheria, tetanus and whooping coughs. It has four combination doses which are divided into two-time span. Two combination doses are to be taken at a younger age of up to 7 years. The other two combination doses are to be taken at an older childhood or adulthood.

Infant (DTaP and DT): These two vaccines are to be given to infants at the following ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 15 to 18 months
  • 4 to 6 years of age

Adults (Td and Tdap): These two vaccines are to be given to adults or older children at the following ages:

  • Td after every 10 years to an adult
  • Tdap at the age of 11 to 18 years or adults of 19 years or older should receive it at least once.

Haemophilis Influenza type b: Hib protects from meningitis, pneumonia and epiglottitis. There are four doses of Hib and it protects against the bacteria called Haemophilus Influenza type b. Infants should be the doses at the age of:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 12 to 15 months

Hepatitis B: The Hepatitis B vaccine is the best way to protect from hepatitis B. It consists of 3 to 4 shots given in a time of six months. The dosage starts from birth and shall be completed before the baby turns 6 to 8 months old.
Measles: Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus that spreads through air. It first starts with a mild fever turning serious with cough, runny nose, red eyes, sore throat and rashes on the body. It can be prevented through the measles vaccine that is generally consisting of 2 doses.

  • First dose: 12 to 15 months of age
  • Second dose: 4 to 6 years of age

However if someone has missed the dose or has to get a dose at adulthood, they will have to take at least one dose of MMR vaccines. For adults at higher risk two dose of Measles vaccine is recommended.

Meningococcal C: The meningococcal vaccine protects against five types of meningococcus bacteria. These can be given at different ages:

Infants: From 2 months to 10 years
Pre-teens/Teens: A first dose at 11 to 18 years of age followed by a booster dose at 16 years of age.

Adults: Adults are at a higher risk if they haven’t received a dose at their teens. 16 to 18 years of age is the last preferred age for vaccination although a one-time dose can be taken from 16 to 23 years of age. If your age is beyond the graph, it is advisable to consult your doctor.

Mumps: Mumps is a virus contagious disease which causes the swelling of salivary glands. It makes the cheeks puffy and a tender swollen jaw. Mumps also causes headache, fever, muscle ache, tiredness and loss of appetite. Mumps vaccination can be given:

To Infants: Children should receive two doses of Mumps vaccine

  • First Dose: 12 to 15 months of age
  • Second dose: 4 to 6 years of age

To Adults: Adults should get at least one dose of Mumps vaccine.

Pneumococcal infection: There are almost 90 types of pneumococcal bacteria and two types of vaccines preventing almost half of them. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) safeguards against 13 types and Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) shields against 23 types of this bacteria.
PCV13

For Infants: It is a series of four doses at the ages of-

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 12 to 15 months

For Adults: One dosage of PCV13 is recommended after one turns 65 years of age. Remember that the dose of PPSV23 has to be given only after a year of receiving the PCV13 vaccine
PPSV23

For Infants: One dose from the age of 2 years to anytime in life

For Adults: One compulsory dose after 65 years of age and one dose before 65 years of age with the kind of diseases listed below:

  • Long term health problems like heart disease, lung disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, etc.
  • Disease that cause low body resistance to infection such as Hodgkin’s disease, kidney failure, nephritic syndrome, organ transplant etc.
  • Anyone who is taking a treatment or drug that lowers body resistance to infection like cancer drugs, radiation therapy etc.
  • Smoker or asthma patients

Poliomyelitis (Polio): Polio was one of the most common diseases which caused severe illness in thousands of people before introduction of its vaccine. It is now the most compulsory vaccination required to be taken to prevent against the permanent paralysis of a body part or even death.
Infants: Polio vaccination is recommended and mostly given during childhood. It consists of dosage at the age of:

  • First dose: 2 months
  • Second dose: 4 months
  • Third dose: 6 to 18 months
  • Booster dose: 4 to 6 years of age

Adults: Adults don’t need a polio vaccine if they have been vaccinated in childhood as per the dosage mentioned above. But some adults are at higher risk of polio if:

  • They live in or are travelling to polio effected high risk areas of the world
  • They work in laboratories and deal with viruses of that of polioviruses
  • They are doctors dealing with polio effected patients or possible polio patients.

Dosage: There are three dosage of IPV for adults of the above category-

  • First dose can be taken any time they like
  • Second dose has to be taken 1 to 2 months after the first
  • Third dose has to be taken almost 6 to 12 months after the second

Rotavirus (for babies under six months): Rotavirus causes gastroenteritis in children which causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. There are currently twi dosage of vaccine for its prevention:

  • Rota teq or RV5 with its three dosages at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months
  • Rotarix or RV1 with two dosages at 4 months and 6 months

Rubella: Rubella is a viral and contagious disease which causes fever and rashes all over the body. It can cause serious birth defects in a baby if the mother has rubella. Generally, the dose is given in the childhood.

Dosage: There are two doses of MMR vaccine for rubella

  • First dose at 12 to 15 months
  • Second dose at 4 to 6 years of age

Tetanus: tetanus is a serious disease that causes the muscles to tighten and jaws to lock as much as to not open the mouth and is usually caught through cuts and dirt on them. There are five dose for children at the ages of-

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 15 to 18 months
  • 4 to 6 years

And if there occur any infectious injury or cut during lifetime it is advisable to go for milt tetanus injections to help prevent from bacterial infections.

Whooping cough: The best way to prevent against whooping cough is to take the combination vaccines given for diphtheria. These are directed at the same schedule as that of diphtheria.

What are the side effects of immunization?

Immunization is a heavy dose of virus or possible infections into your body and can take a few days for the body to fight against it. And so there can be mild side effects to immunization. They are:

  • Fever
  • Soreness at the place shot was given
  • Fatigue
  • Rashes on the skin

Sometimes side effects continue for up to 2 weeks or more but are completely normal and not a reason to worry.

Recommendation

Immunization is very necessary to be taken in the right time to work as a precautionary measure and prevent against life threatening diseases. It is advisable to complete the immunization dosage of your child on time for a healthy and safe life. Also, there are schedule cards available with the doctors for the timely check into the immunization and to keep them as record for life.

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