Child Immunization & Vaccination Schedule

FirstCry Parenting
FirstCry Parenting
FirstCry Parenting
FirstCry Parenting

It’s difficult to see your little darling get a vaccination shot, but experts agree that vaccinations are vital to prevent children from dangerous illnesses. Thanks to vaccines, your child’s less likely to catch a serious illness like whooping cough, measles, mumps, Hib meningitis, meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease, hepatitis, or polio. Learn about the recommended immunizations for your baby, and which shots to expect at your child’s next medical checkup.

Role of Vaccinations

Children are highly susceptible to catching infections and diseases, especially in their early years. This is because their immune system – which is the body’s defence system against infection-causing microorganisms (pathogens) – is not fully developed yet.

The role of the immune system is to protect the body by battling against pathogens. However, some pathogens can overwhelm the immune system, and when this happens, the child falls sick. It is usually the pathogens that cannot be recognized by the body that lead to problems.

When children get their vaccine shots, it helps the immune system to recognize which organism is harmful and how to eliminate it. This way the body is prepared to fight pathogens when they attack, and your child is immunized from illnesses.

Top 8 Reasons to Protect Children Through Vaccination

  1. As parents, we want to do everything possible to keep our children healthy and safe from preventable diseases. Vaccination is the best way to guarantee this.
  2. Vaccination is totally safe and effective. All vaccines undergo long and detailed review by scientists, doctors, and the government to make sure they are safe.
  3. Paediatric organizations such as the Indian Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly support protecting children with recommended vaccinations.
  4. Vaccination protects children from serious illness and complications. In the absence of vaccination, these diseases can lead to conditions such as paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, amputation of an arm or leg, brain damage, or even death.
  5. Diseases like measles, mumps, and whooping cough are vaccine-preventable but still a threat globally. Many children get infected by them every year.
  6. Though vaccination has led to a sharp decline in the incidence of many infectious diseases, some of them are still quite common in other countries. They may be brought to your country by international travelers. If children are not vaccinated, they could get infected by one of these diseases from travelers or while traveling themselves.
  7. If many parents decide not to vaccinate their children, it might trigger an outbreak of preventable diseases. Such an epidemic can turn out to be disastrous for child healthcare.
  8. If children aren’t vaccinated, they can spread diseases to other young children, babies who are too small to be vaccinated, or to people with weak immunity, such as cancer patients.

Vaccination Chart for Indian Babies

Age
(completed
weeks/months/years)
Vaccines Doses Content Tag
Birth Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) 1 BCG
Oral polio vaccine (OPV 0) 1 OPV
Hepatitis B (Hep – B1) 1 Hep -B
6 weeks Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine (DTwP 1) 1 DTP
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV 1) 1 IPV
Hepatitis B  (Hep – B2) 1 Hep -B
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib 1) 1 Hib
Rotavirus 1 1 Rotavirus
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV 1) 1 PCV
10 weeks Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine (DTwP 2) 1 DTP
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV 2) 1 IPV
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib 2) 1 Hib
Rotavirus 2 1 Rotavirus
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV 2) 1 PCV
14 weeks Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine (DTwP 3) 1 DTP
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV 3) 1 IPV
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib 3) 1 Hib
Rotavirus 3 1 Rotavirus
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV 3) 1 PCV
6 months Oral polio vaccine (OPV 1) 1 OPV
Hepatitis B (Hep – B3) 1 Hep -B
9 months Oral polio vaccine (OPV 2) 1 OPV
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR – 1) 1 MMR
9 – 12 months Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine 1 Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine
12 months Hepatitis A (Hep – A1) 1 Hep -A
15 months Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR 2) 1 MMR
Varicella 1 1 Varicella
PCV booster 1 PCV
16 to 18 months Diphtheria, Perussis, and Tetanus (DTwP B1/DTaP B1) 1 DTP
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV B1) 1 IPV
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib B1) 1 Hib
18 months Hepatitis A (Hep – A2) 1 Hep -A
2 years Booster of Typhoid
Conjugate Vaccine
1 Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine
4 to 6 years Diphtheria, Perussis, and Tetanus (DTwP B2/DTaP B2) 1 DTP
Oral polio vaccine (OPV 3) 1 OPV
Varicella 2 1 Varicella
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR 3) 1 MMR
10 to 12 years Tdap/Td 1 Tdap
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) 1 HPV
Reference:
IAP Immunization Timetable 2016

 

People’s Negligence Toward Vaccination

Vaccines are a safe way to prevent people from deadly diseases. However, in recent years, some opponents of vaccination have challenged their safety and effectiveness. There are even some research findings making the rounds that link vaccines to autism. However, there isn’t any valid proof for this proposition. On the contrary, there is proof that vaccines have saved people from dying.

People sometimes avoid vaccinating their children due to such ‘reports’. Some of us are even unaware of the fact that children need to be vaccinated against a specific disease, for instance, seasonal flu. In order to keep our children protected, it is necessary to talk to doctors about the vaccines your child needs as per age.

Things to Remember During Vaccination

  1. Try to adhere to your child’s vaccination schedule and never miss a vaccine. If you do miss a vaccine, approach your paediatrician to discuss if it can be given at a later time.
  2. In case your child has fever, inform your doctor before immunization. Your doctor may need to reschedule.
  3. Sometimes, the doctor may give you the option of painful or painless vaccines. As parents, we want to avoid causing any pain to our child. However, please discuss the difference between painful and painless vaccines to make an informed decision. As per studies, the painless vaccine may have a faster period of waning (i.e. the immunity decreases faster) than the painful vaccine.
  4. For some vaccines, it’s normal to get fever for a few days after it is administered. You can use a sponge bath to reduce your baby’s temperature. Visit your doctor in case fever persists beyond 1-2 days.
  5. Take along a family member or your spouse, if possible, to assist you during your child’s vaccination. This will help distract and comfort the child during and after the shot is given. Carry your child’s favourite toy, blanket, etc. to comfort them.