Each of us possesses a natural immune system that protects us against infections and illnesses. The immune system of babies is not fully developed at birth, putting them at greater risk for infection. The pathogens, on entering the body, multiply and cause infection. This leads to the pain and suffering of our little ones. Hence, it is essential to get our babies 12 important vaccinations in their first year of life. It not only prevents the disease but also secures their healthy future.
Babies are exposed to many germs every day in their surroundings. This happens through the food they eat, the air they breathe and the things they put in their mouth. Babies are born with an immune system that can fight most of the germs, but there are some serious diseases that require extra protection. Vaccinations reduce the risk of severe infections by giving your baby’s immune system a boost and helping it develop a guard against the pathogens. Vaccines contain minimal amounts of antigens to get the immune system to recognise the antigen. The next time the immune system comes in contact with the same antigen, the immune system recognises the antigen and fights it off.
|Age of |
|Disease||Brief||Route of Transmission||Symptoms|| |
Vaccination Available *
|At birth||Hepatitis B||It is caused by Hepatitis B virus and affects the liver. It may cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis, liver failure or even death in some cases.||When in contact with infected individual’s body fluids||Jaundice, dark coloured urine, fatigue, stomach pain, nausea|| |
First dose given at birth. It is a 4-dose schedule
|At birth||Tuberculosis (TB)||Caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it attacks the lungs.||Air-borne disease.||Cough lasting for more than 3 weeks, chest pain, coughing blood or sputum, fatigue, chills|| |
BCG – Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine protects against TB, given at the time of birth
|OPV given at birth (Oral Polio Vaccine) |
IPV – 6 weeks onwards
(Injectable Polio Vaccine)
|Polio Vaccine||Caused by Polio virus and can infect the spinal cord, limbs, or any part of the body. May also cause paralysis||Air-borne disease||Muscle tenderness, floppy and loose muscles, fever, sore throat, weakness fatigue|| |
Oral Vaccine is given at the time of birth, and minimum 4 doses of injectable polio vaccine (IPV)
|6, 10, 14 weeks||Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis||Diphtheria is a respiratory disease. |
Tetanus causes the tightening of jaw muscles.
Pertussis is also known as whooping cough.
|Diphtheria and Pertussis are both air-borne diseases |
Tetanus spreads when bacterial spores enter the body through deep cuts. Spores usually reside in soil, manure, iron rust, etc
|Diphtheria – Fever, swollen neck, thick gray coating lining nose or throat |
Pertussis – Cold, cough, mild fever, and difficulty in breathing
Tetanus – jaw cramping, muscle stiffness, seizures, fever and sweating
Combination of 3 vaccines – DPT Vaccine is available. Recommended in a 3 + 1 booster dose schedule
|6, 10, 14 weeks||Hib: Haemophilus influenzae type B||Infects the lining of the brain and spinal cord. It can cause a severe infection of the blood.||Air-borne disease||Pneumonia, infection of blood or infection of meningitis (membrane covering the brain and spinal cord)|| |
Recommended in a 3 + 1 booster dose schedule
|6, 10, 14 weeks||Rotavirus |
|Spreads easily amongst infants and children, caused by Rotavirus||Spreads due to lack of hygiene and sanitation facilities when infants touch or consume contaminated articles||Severe watery diarrhoea, fever, abdominal pain, dehydration and, in some cases, may need hospitalization|| |
3-dose or 2-dose schedule starting from 6 weeks onwards (depending upon brand)
|6, 10, 14 weeks||Pneumococcal Disease||Caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, it can range from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and bloodstream infections||Spreads through direct contact with respiratory secretions like saliva or mucus||Fever, cough, difficulty in breathing and chest pain|| |
Vaccination is available in a 3 + 1 booster dose schedule
|6 months||Influenza||Caused by Swine Flu (H1N1) and 3 other flu strains||Air-borne disease||Cold, cough, fever, runny nose, itchy eyes, body ache|| |
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended
|6 months||Typhoid||It is a life-threatening illness caused by Salmonella typhi||Spreads through sewage contamination of food and water, and via personal contact||Sustained high fever of 103-104⁰F, along with stomach pain, fatigue, diarrhoea or constipation||Single dose|
|9 months||Measles, Mumps & Rubella||Measles are small red spots on the entire skin, highly contagious |
Mumps is swelling of salivary glands due to viral infection
Rubella is caused by a virus; pinkish rashes start appearing across the face and body
|All 3 are air-borne diseases||Measles – small red spots breakout on the entire body with fever, headache |
Mumps – Puffiness of neck, cheeks, eyes, and entire face due to swelling of salivary glands
Rubella – low grade fever with rashes across body
3 dose schedule is recommended
|9 months||Meningococcal Disease||It is caused by Neisseria meningitidis, affects the meninges and is life-threatening if left untreated||Spreads through direct contact with respiratory secretions like saliva or mucus||0-8 hours symptoms are like the common cold and flu, later it progresses rapidly into stiff neck, light sensitivity, fever, and nausea.|| |
2 dose below 1 year or single dose above 2 years is recommended
|12 months||Hepatitis A||Caused by Hepatitis A virus. It is highly contagious||Spreads through ingestion of contaminated food or water||Jaundice, dark-coloured urine, nausea, fatigue, stomach pain|| |
Vaccination is available; consult doctor for a schedule.
* – Information about Vaccination mentioned above is based on recommendations received from Health Experts. For any further information, please consult your infant’s paediatrician
If possible, you can even breastfeed your child while they are getting vaccinated, as this will help distract them and give them comfort.
Over the years, vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives of infants. Protecting your infant’s health, and securing their future by vaccinating them in early life, along with taking care of other preventive measures such as sanitation and hygiene, is recommended by various health authorities and experts.
Please consult your baby’s paediatrician for any more information.
To know more about the disease, click here
Disclaimer: Issued in public interest by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India.
Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only. Nothing contained in this material constitutes medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical queries, any question or concern you may have regarding your condition. The disease list indicated for vaccination is not complete, please consult your doctor for the complete vaccination schedule
NP-IN-ABX-OGM-220075, DoP Feb 2023
This post was last modified on April 25, 2023 6:20 pm
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