Vaccines are products that help infants, children and teens from developing deadly diseases. Unlike a medicine that cures a disease, vaccines help prevent them. They use harmless or inactive virus or bacteria to trigger the body’s natural immune response without the risk of getting the disease. Vaccines are like a rehearsal for the immune system so that your child is prepared when it is exposed to the “real” disease causing virus or bacteria. Below we discuss the vaccines that are an important part of child vaccination.
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The Mandatory Immunization Coverage
As we know by now, vaccines protect you from a number of deadly diseases. If the vaccination rates in our society start to drop, the diseases kept at bay by vaccines would likely return. Getting the recommended vaccines is the safest and most reliable way to ensure that you and your family stays healthy and disease-free!
Learn more about these vaccine-preventable diseases and the risks they pose to your child’s health. We have listed some of the vital vaccines that are important for your child’s health and should be a part of every child vaccination.
1- Haemophilus Influenzae vaccine: Protects against Haemophilus Influenzae type B (Hib)
Hib is a bacteria that most commonly affects children under 5 years of age. It can cause serious life threatening complications including meningitis, an infection of the lining of the brain, pneumonia and septicemia, a very serious and deadly blood infection. Hib is spread by sneezing and coughing by an infected person to others near them.The Hib is mostly combined with other vaccines and is given in three doses at 2, 4 and 6 months of age respectively.
2- Hepatitis B vaccine: Protects against Hepatitis B:
Hepatitis B is a virus that attacks the liver. It can cause liver damage, cirrhosis if not treated in due time. It can spread from one person to another by contact with body fluid or blood transfusions. The hepatitis vaccine is given to children in frequent immunization at 2,4 and 6 months of age respectively.
3- Vaccine MMR: Protects against Mumps, Measles and Rubella:
Measles or rubeola is an infection of the respiratory system and causes red rashes and fever. It is very contagious and spreads by breathing, coughing and sneezing. Mumps causes significant swelling of the salivary glands. The dose is given in combination with Mumps and Rubella (MMR vaccine) with the first dose given at 12 months of age and the second at 4-12 years of age.
4- Polio vaccine: Protects against Poliomyelitis:
It is caused by the infection of the polio virus and can result in paralysis of arms and legs. It can spread by contact with the fecal matter of the infected individual. It is usually given in a combined form to children at 2, 4, and 6 months of age.
5- DTaP vaccine: Protects against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (whooping cough):
Diphtheria is caused by the bacteria Diphtheria and is an infection of the nose and throat. It spreads by sneezing and direct skin to skin contact. About 1 in ten people from Diphtheria may die and it can cause heart failure or paralysis. The vaccine is given in combined form with tetanus and hepatitis in 5 doses to children of 2, 4 and 6, 18 months and the last at 4-6 years of age.
6- Varicella Vaccine: Protects against Varicella virus (Chicken Pox):
It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, it is characterized by red and itchy blisters. It is spread by air in which infected person sneezes or coughs, through the fluid of blisters or saliva of the infected person. Complications can result in pneumonia and swelling of the brain.
The chicken pox vaccine is given in 2 doses; the first at 12 months and the second at 4-6 years of age.
7- PCV-13 vaccine : Protects against Pneumococcal Disease:
Pneumococcal disease is caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria and can spread by coughing, sneezing and contact through saliva.The bacteria can cause serious complications such as meningitis, pneumonia and lung infection. PCV-13 protects against 13 types of bacteria and is given in 3 doses of 2, 4 and 12 months of age.
8- Rotavirus Vaccine: Protects against Rotavirus:
It is very common among children under 5 years of age and causes stomach flu. It is spread through contact with the stools of the infected person. The rotavirus vaccine is given to children in a series of two doses at 2 and 4 months of age.
Say yes to vaccines!
Every year, vaccines prevent 2.5 millions deaths but according to WHO, an estimated 19.5 million are still missing out on child vaccination! It is our duty as individuals and parents to fill the remaining gaps in vaccine coverage and not just highlight but also take important steps in the eradication of vaccine- preventable diseases!
To get started with your child vaccination, you can take your children to a government hospital or visit a Child Specialist (Pediatrician). You can book an appointment with a top Pediatrician in Peshawar, Karachi and Rawalpindi through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your immunization concerns.