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Childhood Vaccines: Why are they Important and which ones are needed?

The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) was launched to wipe out millions of deaths by 2020. This immunization strategy works to strengthen immunity, improve women and child health and bring new and well-researched vaccines in the market. As of 2020, immunizations prevent 2-3 million deaths each year. It helps little ones develop anti-bodies to fight infections. In fact, they are most beneficial to provide herd immunity against several dangerous diseases.

Why Vaccines are a Must 

Following an accurate vaccination schedule for newborns and toddlers is important. They are the best forms of protection against diseases and come with mildest side effects. Here are some benefits:

  • Effective and safe vaccines have eradicated serious medical conditions like Polio over the years. In fact, measles, mumps and rubella are almost non-existent today. The vaccines are extremely safe and can shield your child from several serious infections. 
  • Vaccines can prevent long term complications when administered on time. This can keep you from facing financial blows, along with emotional turmoil.            
  • There are minimal side effects which do not pose serious threats. These include redness at the site of injection and slight pain. But they are better than the trauma and discomfort which diseases bring along. 
  • Along with disease control and prevention, vaccines cater to public health as a whole. Vaccinating your child is a good way to stop the spread of diseases in future generations. 

Important Childhood Vaccines

In all, there are about 26 diseases which can be prevented with a completed vaccination schedule.  Therapeutic doses will also be soon available for auto-immune diseases and allergies.

Hepatitis A

This is one of the most powerful ones and is given in single and double shots. Children in between 1-2 years are recommended to take the vaccine at every six months.

Hepatitis B

The vaccine is administered right at birth. Children up to 18 years can be injected with Hepatitis B. You must complete 3 shots for a full course.

Influenza

Babies, 6 months and above should be given this vaccine. This is particularly for those who have a high chance of developing the disease.

Diptheria, Tetanus & Pertussis Vaccine (DTaP)

This combination vaccine  is a must for children below 7 years. At different ages, a total of 5 doses will be given. This helps reduce the chances of tetanus, whooping cough and diphtheria effectively. In many countries, DTaP is given to pregnant mothers in their third trimester, so that they can pass on vital antibodies to the baby, which offer protection to new-borns for some time.

Chicken Pox

This is highly contagious and children under 13 should be given 2 doses. The second dose must be injected within 3 months of the first shot.

Immunization practice dates back to a few centuries when monks used snake venom to contain snake bites. Today, vaccines have a widespread usage to protect the lives of millions of children worldwide. In fact, some diseases prevalent today, could become extinct for the future generation with the right vaccines. As responsible parents, do get in touch with health care professionals to complete the schedule.

Written by shaheen shaikh