As a parent, naturally, your child’s health and safety is always your first priority. To serve that purpose, you always make sure that your child gets the best possible care in all circumstances. However, some circumstances are beyond your control and the least you can do is take precautions.
Vaccinations are the best way to ensure that your child is safe against numerous diseases that can be fatal to your child’s immunity. In some cases, your baby might need multiple time-to-time doses of the same vaccine for maximum protection. Your child’s pediatrician will provide you with an immunization schedule which will help you keep track of your child’s vaccinations.
That being said, listed below are 6 vaccinations that are considered mandatory for your child.
Polio: Even though India has been established as a Polio-Free country, the polio vaccination is mandatory for every child at birth. Polio is a life-threatening condition that causes paralysis and in some extreme cases, death. For the well being of all children, the Government of India provides the polio vaccine twice a year, completely free of cost.
Chicken Pox: It is also known as the Varicella vaccine. Chicken Pox is a dangerous skin disease which in extreme cases can even cause death. One dose of vaccine prevents 95% of moderate disease and 100% of severe disease. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines. Either one or two doses of the vaccine are recommended and is most effective when given between 12-18 months of age.
Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG): The BCG vaccine is given to children for protection against tuberculosis. The BCG vaccine is one of the oldest vaccines and is given to the child close to birth. This vaccine provides protection against various forms of tuberculosis for a span of 15-20 years. It is one of the widely used vaccines throughout the globe.
Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR): As the name suggests, this vaccine provides immunization against Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Children are given this vaccine once at age 1 and for the second time around 4-5 years of age. Between 2000 and 2013, measles vaccination resulted in a 75% decrease in deaths from the disease and therefore, it is considered to be an important vaccination.
Hepatitis B: The Hepatitis B vaccine is considered to be one of the safest and the most effective vaccines. It is primarily given for protection against the Hepatitis Virus which affects the liver. This vaccine is given to children by an injection to the muscles at certain intervals throughout his childhood. Vaccination of newborns has not only reduced the risk of infection, but has also led to marked reduction in liver cancer.
Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus (DPT): This vaccine is also known as the ‘Triple Antigen’ vaccine. The usual course of this vaccine is five doses between 2 months to 15 months. However, the dosage and time frame varies from country to country. The tetanus vaccine is repeated when the child is 10 years of age. It is given as an intramuscular vaccine to infants.
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