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VACCINE

Dr. P. Siva Bharathi, M.D (Peds), AB (USA).

UNICEF/ HQ06-1800/Josh EsteyINTRODUCTION: A vaccine is any biological preparation intended to produce immunity to diseases by stimulating the production of antibodies (Substance in the blood which fights microorganisms). These are usually given by injection or by mouth. Sometimes they can also be given by a nasal spray.

TYPES:

  • Killed Vaccines: These are manufactured by killing the micro-organism with chemicals or heat. When administered, the proteins in theses killed micro organisms will induce the body to produce immunity against this organism. Examples Polio, hepatitis vaccine etc.
  • Live (Attenuated) Vaccine: These vaccines are manufactured by making the miro-organism inactive (but alive). When administered, these organisms multiply in the body and stimulate the production of immunity but these organisms won’t cause any disease (as they are inactivated). Example: BCG, MMR vaccines. These vaccines should be given only to healthy individual.
  • Toxoid: These vaccines are made from extracting certain inactivated toxic component of the micro-organism example Tetanus and diphtheria vaccines
  • Subunit: These vaccines are made by using a fragment of the micro-organism (Like a protein subunit). Example: Hepatitis B vaccine.
  • Conjugate: These are made using some complex sugars (Found on the outer coats of the bacteria) and binding them with proteins like toxins. Example: HIB vaccine.?

How Does Vaccines Work?

Vaccines are usually made using the same bacteria or viruses that cause the disease (as mentioned above), but they are either weakened or killed to make them safe. When the child receives vaccine, then the immune system responds to it, the same way it would if the child had the disease. By this way the child will develop immunity in the body and will help fight the disease effectively, if he/she acquire the real disease.

What are the vaccines available for my child?

Please refer to the vaccination schedule formulated by Indian Academy of Pediatrics for all the available and recommended vaccinations for children in India.

IAP VACCINATION SCHEDULE
Routine vaccines: The following are the routine vaccines that are recommended for children between birth and 6 months of age.

  1. BCG
  2. POLIO
  3. DTaP
  4. MMR/ Measles
  5. Hepatitis B
  6. Hib
  7. Pneumoccoccal
  8. Rotavirus

What are the side effects from vaccines:

Vaccines can cause side effects but these are mostly mild and are usually tenderness, redness or swelling at the site of injection and some times the child may have mild fever. They usually appear soon after the injection and will go away within a day or two.

Very rarely (less than one in 10 lakh) severe reactions can occur like severe allergic reactions to the vaccine. Doctor’s are trained to handle these if it happens.

What are the precautions that need to be followed?

If the child is sick on the date of vaccination, your doctor might recommend to hold off the shot till the child recovers for the illness. Vaccination can be done if there is only a minor cold or low fever.

TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR IF YOUR CHILD HAD ANY SERIOUS REACTIONS AFTER A PREVIOUS DOSE OF A VACCINE.

“Content Source: Centers for Disease Control and prevention”

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