Building immunity is essential to keep babies in good health and help them prevent diseases. When babies are born, they have an underdeveloped immune system and vaccinations help to reduce the risk of infection and help them fight against ailments that can affect them. Once your baby is born, your health care provider will give you an immunization chart that is prescribed by the Indian Paediatrics Association. Make sure to follow the chart religiously and ensure that your baby gets vaccinated on time.
Why do you need vaccines?
Babies are born with inbuilt protection against some diseases because of the antibodies present in the mother’s body. The first milk called colostrum contains several antibodies and is considered to provide a protective shield for the newborn. Once the baby is delivered it is exposed to a new environment and the associated risk of contracting various diseases making him/her vulnerable. Timely vaccines at various stages from birth to 12 months protect the baby from known illnesses against which protection is available. It is critical to ensure that every baby gets the full dose of vaccinations to increase the possibility of healthy life ahead.
What vaccines should you give your child?
The vaccination schedule for babies is prepared at the national level by the Indian Paediatrics Association with government approval. This schedule needs to be followed by all healthcare providers across the country. All the vaccines prescribed in the chart need to be administered and parents and doctors have to ensure that the chart is strictly followed for safeguarding the child.
Here is the Baby vaccination chart for Indian parents that needs to be followed strictly.
|S.No||Vaccine||Prevents||Minimum age required for Dose 1||Dose 2||Dose 3||Dose 4|
|2||HepB||Hepatitis B||Birth||6 weeks||10 weeks||14 weeks|
|3||Poliovirus||Polio||Birth||6 weeks||10 weeks||14 weeks 16-18 mths|
|4||DTP||Diphtheria, Tetanus Pertussis||6 weeks||10 weeks||14 weeks||16-18 mths 4-6 years|
|5||Hib||Infections caused by Bacteria||6 weeks||10 weeks||14 weeks||16-18 mths|
|6||PCV||Pneumonia||6 weeks||10 weeks||14 weeks||15 mths|
|7||RV||Severe Diarrheal Disease||6 weeks||10 weeks||14 weeks|
|8||Typhoid||Typhoid, Fever, Diarrhea||6 months|
|9||MMR||Measles, Mumps & Rubella||9 months||15 months||4-6 years|
|10||Varicella||Chickenpox||15 months||4-6 years|
|11||HepA||Liver||12 months||16-18 mths|
This chart needs to be adhered to at all times as it provides the necessary immunity to the baby as they grow. It covers all the vaccines from 0-12 months.
What type of diseases do vaccinations prevent?
Vaccinations protect your baby from the following diseases:
• Flu (also called influenza). Influenza is a disease that causes symptoms like fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, vomiting and diarrhoea.
• Haemophilus influenzae type b (also called Hib). It is caused by bacteria. This serious disease can cause meningitis, pneumonia, other infections and death. Children less than 2 years of age are highly prone to this infection.
• Hepatitis A and B. It is a serious liver infection caused by hepatitis A and B viruses.
• Measles, mumps and rubella (also called German measles).
o Measles is a disease that can easily spread infections like rash, cough and fever.
o Mumps includes symptoms like fever, headache and swollen glands in the face and neck area.
o Rubella is a serious infection and symptoms include mild flu- and a rash.
• Pneumococcal disease. This disease is caused by bacteria called pneumococcus. Its symptoms are ear and sinus infections, pneumonia(infection in one or both lungs), meningitis (swelling in the brain and spinal cord) and bacteremia( blood infection.)
• Polio. This fatal disease is caused by a virus that causes infection in the spinal cord and causes paralysis (when you can’t move one or more parts of your body).
• Rotavirus. This infection is caused by a virus and includes symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting, fever and belly pain. And dehydration.
• Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
o Tetanus is an infection that causes damage to your nerves and muscles and can be transmitted in the form of cuts if a person does not take the vaccination.
o Diphtheria is an infection that includes symptoms like sore throat, fever, weakness and breathing problems.
o Pertussis (also called whooping cough) is an infection that can be transmitted easily and injurious to your baby.
• Varicella (also called chickenpox). This infection can be transmitted easily and includes symptoms like itchy skin, rash and fever, and is very contagious and can spread without direct contact.
What are the side effects?
Several diseases like measles, polio and cough can be avoided by administering the right vaccines on time. Minor reactions to these vaccines are commonplace. They just indicate that the vaccine is working properly. These side effects reduce in a couple of days. Some of these reactions include –
- Slight swelling on the affected area
- Tenderness or reddishness in the vaccinated zone
- Mild fever
- Difficulty in sleeping
Tracking the Vaccine Schedule
Despite your busy schedule, it is crucial to keep track of your baby’s vaccine calendar to make sure you don’t miss a single dose. You can set up a reminder on your phone so that you never miss a vaccination appointment with the doctor.
Vaccinations are safe and protect your baby from harmful diseases. Parents need to follow the standard vaccination chart provided above. Most side effects of vaccinations are not that serious and go away on their own. Your babies needs constant vaccinations as they grow to keep them healthy and safeguard them against illnesses.