What is Vaccination?

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The process of developing adaptive immunity towards a pathogen, by stimulating an individual’s immune system by administration of antigens (vaccine) is called vaccination. It can prevent or ameliorate the morbidity from infection. It is the most effective method of preventing the infectious diseases. These vaccines are prepared from inactive (dead) or live attenuated viruses/ bacteria or their antigenic components.

The antigen is perceived by the nascent immune system as a foreign body and it primes the immune system to develop antibodies against it. Whenever the antigen is re-exposed anytime in future, the primed immune system reacts immediately by exaggerated response and prevents the disease.

The vaccination is mostly advocated in childhood to prevent the infections, as the children are most labile. The first vaccination begins in the womb, as tetanus toxoid vaccine is given to pregnant mother to prevent the neonatal tetanus.

Why is vaccination so important?

According to World health organization, around 1.5 million people especially children die of those diseases that could be easily prevented through vaccinations. The successful vaccination program not only offers protection to the individual recipient, but also to the society through the herd immunity.

The history proves that, successful vaccination could eradicate the small pox and soon the world would be declared free from polio.

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What is National Immunisation Program?

Every country worldwide has a distinct vaccination program of their own depending on the incidence and prevalence of disease in their topography.

In India, the national immunization program was started in 1978 and then modified from time to time. The present schedule was recommended in 2011. The National rural health mission and Indian Academy of Pediatrics has compulsory and optional vaccines under the schedule.

Immunization schedule by Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP)
Age Vaccine Dose Effective against Diseases
Pregnancy Tetanus Toxoid* 2 doses  4-6 weeks apart Neonatal Tetanus
At Birth BCG*

OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) *

Hepatitis B vaccine*

Single dose

0 dose

1st dose

Tuberculosis

Polio

Hepatitis B

4 wks Hepatitis B vaccine* 2nd dose Hepatitis B
6 weeks DTaP*

HiB#

IPV (Injectable Polio Vaccine) *

Rotavirus#

Pneumococcal Conjugated Vaccine#

1st dose

1st dose

1st dose

1st dose

1st dose

Diptheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertusis.

Hemophilus Influenza B

Polio

Rotavirus

Pneumococcal Bacteria

10 weeks DTaP*

HiB#

IPV (Injectable Polio Vaccine) *

Rotavirus#

Pneumococcal Conjugated Vaccine#

2nd dose

2nd dose

2nd dose

2nd dose

2nd dose

Diptheria, Tetanus,  Acellular Pertusis.

Hemophilus Influenza B

Polio

Rotavirus

Pneumococcal Bacteria

14 weeks DTaP*

HiB#

IPV (Injectable Polio Vaccine) *

Rotavirus#

Pneumococcal Conjugated Vaccine#

3rd  dose

3rd  dose

3rd  dose

3rd  dose

3rd  dose

Diptheria, Tetanus,  Acellular Pertusis.

Hemophilus Influenza B

Polio

Rotavirus

Pneumococcal Bacteria

6 Months Hepatitis B vaccine*

Flu Vaccine#

OPV*

3rd  dose

1st dose

1st dose

Hepatitis B

Swine flu/ Influenza

Polio

9 months Measles*

OPV*

1st dose

2nd dose

Measles

Polio

1 year Hepatitis A#

Cholera#

1st dose

2 doses 2 weeks apart

Hepatitis

Cholera

15 months MMR#

Chicken Pox#

Pneumococcal Conjugated Vaccine#

1st dose

1st dose

4th dose

Mumps, Measles, Rubella

Chicken Pox

Pneumococcal Bacteria

16-18 Months DTaP*

HiB#

IPV (Injectable Polio Vaccine) *

2nd dose

2nd dose

2nd dose

Diptheria, Tetanus,  Acellular Pertusis.

Hemophilus Influenza B

Polio

18 Month Hepatitis A# 2nd dose Hepatitis A
2 years Typhoid# Every 3 years Typhoid
> 2 years Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine#

Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine#

1st dose

5th dose

Meningococcal

Pneumococcal

4.5-5 years DTaP*

OPV*

MMR#

Typhoid#

Chicken Pox#

5th dose

3rd dose

2nd dose

2nd dose

2nd dose

Diptheria, Tetanus,  Acellular Pertusis.

Hemophilus Influenza B

Polio

Rotavirus

Pneumococcal Bacteria

10-12 years TDaP*

HPV#

6th dose

1st dose

Diptheria, Tetanus,  Acellular Pertusis.

Human Papilloma Virus

* = Compulsory ,included in National Universal Immunization Program; #= Optional, recommended by IAP.

Does vaccines have any side effects?

The normal vaccination can result in fever, malaise, weakness, redness and swelling at injection site. However, if the child experiences breathlessness, swelling all over the body, convulsions, high grade fever, excessive cries etc. the concerned doctor should be contacted immediately.

Disclaimer:

The information is shared to create awareness towards Pregnancy and Childcare to reduce maternal and child deaths. Atmost care has been taken by the author to include the verified information from authentic sources. However, kindly discuss the same with your health care provider before implementation.