Six vaccines are given to all children across the globe under UIP (Universal Immunization Program), which are polio, DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus), BCG (Bacillus Calmatte Guerin for tuberculosis) and measles. Other than these six common vaccines, your child also need few more vaccines which will help prevent common diseases. All parents need to know about these common vaccines every child should get during infancy and childhood.
Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine:
Haemophilus influenza type B bacteria cause meningitis. Meningitis is inflammation of membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, which is dangerous, especially for children below five years of age. Average three shots are given in two months interval. Potential side effects include fever, redness at the site of injection and swelling. All children should be given Hib vaccine.
Hepatitis B vaccine:
Hepatitis B is nowadays given routinely to every newborn babies. First dose at the time of birth or within a few days. Second dose one month after first dose and third dose six months after first dose. Total three doses are given. Vaccine is highly efficacious in preventing hepatitis B infection of liver, which is potentially fatal and need minute quantity of body fluid exchange for infection. Mild fever, soreness at the site of injection are some side effects.
Hepatitis A vaccine:
Hepatitis A spread by contaminated water and food. When children share food and drinks, they can spread the disease. Hepatitis A shot is given at 1 to 2 years of age and two shots are given at six months interval. It prevent against hepatitis A infection of liver, which causes jaundice, loss of appetite, weakness and fever.
Chickenpox is highly contagious disease caused by varicella virus. Chickenpox is not very serious disease, but it is troublesome and can be dangerous if adults get infected, who do not have immunity against the disease. Chickenpox can lead to development shingles, which is another troublesome problem. Chickenpox vaccine is given at 12 to 15 months of age and next shot at 4 to 6 years of age. May cause fever and rash.
Rotavirus is most common cause of diarrhea during first year of life of an infant. It causes watery stools and frequency of stool. In many developing and poor countries large number of infants die due to rotavirus diarrhea, which leads to serious dehydration, if fluid and electrolytes are not replaced adequately, by giving ORS (oral rehydration solution). Rotavirus vaccine is available as brand names RotaTeq, Rotarix. It is an oral vaccine and can be given easily to infants.
This contain three vaccines, measles, mumps and rubella or German measles. This is must for every female child. Because if rubella infection occurs during pregnancy, the risk of birth defect in fetus is very high. Hence, every girl child should be protected with MMR vaccine. MMR vaccine can be given in a child who was already vaccinated with measles vaccine. One of two MMR shots are given, first at 12 to 15 months age and second at 4 to 6 years of age.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PVC):
This vaccine protect against 13 types of streptococcus pneumoniae, which are the bacteria that can cause all sorts of disease, such as meningitis, pneumonia, ear infections, blood infections, and even death. Total four shots are given to children (at 2, 4, 6, and 12 to 15 months of age) to protect them against the 13 types of streptococcus pneumoniae, known collectively as pneumococcal bacteria. Drowsiness, swelling at the site of the injection, mild fever, and irritability are some side effects.
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