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Need for immunizations:

Immunizations are important for a healthy growth of a baby because immunizations protect babies from serious diseases. This has helped in reduction of many commonly occurring diseases affecting babies.

The diseases, for which immunization is recommended, are very contagious and can turn into serious health problems. Though these diseases are on decline, if the babies are not immunized, they won’t receive protection against these diseases, and then there are increased chances of infections and epidemics.

Mode of action:

The potency of pathogenic bacteria or virus which causes a disease is reduced / weakened and thus vaccines are prepared. When these weakened pathogens enter a human body, either orally or by injecting, the body reacts to it. These vaccines activate body’s immune system and antibodies are produced. These antibodies can get into action against that particular disease if the body comes in contact with the real disease-causing germs. So an immunized child stands a better chance of fighting off the disease than a non-immunized one.

The AAP ( American Academy of Pediatrics) and CDC (US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) suggest the following immunizations as suitable for babies:-

1. DTaP: This vaccine is given for safety against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis or whooping cough. This is administered at:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • Between 15 & 18 months
  • Between 4 & 6 years
  • 11 or 12 years, a single booster dose.

2.Hepatitis A: Given against infection caused by Hepatitis A virus.

  • Two doses are given keeping a gap of 6 months, between 12 & 23 months.

3.Hepatitis B or HBV: For safety against Hepatitis B virus. Both Hepatitis A & B virus can cause Hepatitis, a serious liver disease.This is given at:

  • Birth
  • Between 1 & 2 months
  • Between 6 & 8 months

4.Hib: This vaccine can give protection against diseases like pneumonia, meningitis and epiglottitis, which can be caused by Haemophilus influenza type B virus.This is administered at:

  • 2 months.
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • Between 12 & 15 months

5.Meningococcal: Meningococcal infection causes bacterial meningitis in children.

  • This is given between 11 & 12 years.

6.Influenza: The flu vaccine provides safety against influenza or flu.

  • From 6 months onwards, it should be given every year during fall or at the beginning of winter.

7.MMR: This vaccine provides protection against Measles, Mumps & Rubella or German measles. This vaccine is given:

  • Between 12 & 15 months
  • Between 4 & 6 years (Second shot can be given 28 days after the first one)

8.Polio (IPV): This vaccine saves babies from the disease poliomyelitis.It is given at:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • Between 6 and 18 months
  • Between 4 and 6 years

9.Pneumococcal (PCV): This vaccine proves safety against diseases like pneumonia, meningitis and ear infections. This is given at :

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • Between 12 & 15 months

10.HPV: Human Papillomavirus is root cause of sexually transmitted disease and may lead to cervical cancer. This vaccine is administered only to the girls.

  • Between 11 & 12 years 3 shots are given.

11.Rotavirus: This virus is responsible for the infections like diarrhea, vomiting, fever, dehydration etc.This oral vaccine is given at:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months

12.Varicella: This vaccine provides safety against chicken pox.This is administered between:

  • 12 & 15 months
  • 4 & 6 years.

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#1 - dr.varunsuthra - 04/20/2009 - 22:29
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