Benjamin Franklin once quoted “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Let us contemplate what Benjamin said and try to fit this quote in context of prevention of infection in our children. By infections here we are talking about those life threatening conditions which are preventable if your child is vaccinated timely against them. Yes, we are talking about ‘vaccines’ here – Vaccines for Children.
With the successful eradication of small pox and polio from India, today our government is trying to reach each and every child for timely vaccination and leaving no stone unturned to make parents aware for need of vaccination. It is a proven fact that vaccination not only prevents an individual child from getting disease but also prevents others from getting that disease.
How do vaccines work
In simple words, vaccines are altered virus or bacteria which are injected or given orally. They trigger an immune response in the body and produce antibodies. These antibodies remain active in the body in order to fight against the real infection. For example, if there is an outbreak of Measles in your locality, the child who has been vaccinated against measles will have least chances to contract one.
Are we adequately aware?
To start with, as a parent we should be aware of names of vaccines, their frequency and what diseases they prevent. Given below is the most commonly used schedule for children upto 5 years of age. Pediatricians may follow different schedules but they revolve more or less around this schedule.
Vaccines for Children or Baby Vaccination Schedule
|Schedule by age||Name of vaccine||Diseases it prevents|
|At Birth||BCG||Tuberculosis and its complications|
|Hepatitis B Birth Dose||Hepatitis B|
|Oral Polio Vaccine Zero dose||Polio|
|At 6 weeks , 10 weeks and 14 weeks||Pentavalent Vaccine-3 shots||Diphtheria, Pertussis (whooping cough), Tetanus, Haemophilus Influenzae Type B, Hepatitis B|
|Oral Polio Vaccine -3 shots||Polio|
|Rotavac-3 shots||Rotavirus Diarrhea|
|IPV(Injectable) at 14 weeks||Polio|
|9 months||Measles vaccine -1 shot||Measles|
|18-24 months||DPT booster||Diphtheria, Pertussis (whooping cough), Tetanus|
|O ral Polio Vaccine booster||Polio|
|5 years||DT booster||Diphtheria , Tetatnus|
Do we need to fear anything?
Apart from local redness and temporary swelling at injection site and mild fever, one need not be worried at all. These can be locally and easily dealt with. For any queries, talk to your health worker, nurse or physician. The benefits of getting vaccinated are much more.
More Vaccines for Children
There are other vaccines for children which are optional and one may chose to get those depending upon need, location and affordability. For example, vaccines against Japanese Encephalitis, chicken pox, meningitis, pneumococcal infections, mumps, Hepatitis A etc
So, protect your baby as her every vaccine counts and ensure her a healthy tomorrow.