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Why Child’s Immunizations Are Important

Why Child's Immunizations Are Important

In modern life, there is a high possibility of the rapid spread of various infections among children.

Vaccination is the most effective preventative technology

The most reliable and time-tested means of preventing infectious diseases is vaccination, the purpose of which is to develop immunity to microbes in the body with the help of specially designed vaccines. The effectiveness of vaccinations around the world is universally recognized – there is no other health program that would bring such impressive results. Indeed, with the help of vaccine prevention every year it is possible to prevent a significant number of deaths, namely, to save up to 4.5 million human lives!

The question of the choice of vaccination concerns each of us. Protecting your children from deadly infections and understanding the importance of vaccination are the responsibilities of every parent.

Today, medicine has over 100 vaccines against 40 infections and every decade brings ever new achievements in vaccination prevention.

Different countries have their own national vaccination calendars. Vaccination schedule 2019 has been updated recently:

Birth to 15 Months:

  • Hepatitis B;
  • Rotavirus;
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, & acellular pertussis;
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b;
  • Pneumococcal conjugate;
  • Inactivated poliovirus;
  • Influenza (IIV) or Influenza (LAIV);
  • Measles, mumps, rubella;
  • Varicella;
  • Hepatitis A;
  • Meningococcal;
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis;
  • Human papillomavirus;
  • Meningococcal B;
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide.

18 Months to 18 Years:

  • Hepatitis B;
  • Rotavirus;
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, & acellular pertussis;
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b;
  • Pneumococcal conjugate;
  • Inactivated poliovirus;
  • Influenza (IIV) or Influenza (LAIV);
  • Measles, mumps, rubella;
  • Varicella;
  • Hepatitis A;
  • Meningococcal;
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis;
  • Human papillomavirus;
  • Meningococcal B;
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide.

Additional vaccinations for children and adults

When vaccinating your children, do not forget about yourself. Not everyone knows that every adult should be vaccinated against diphtheria and tetanus every 10 years; every year – against the flu. Influenza vaccination is especially indicated for older people as it reduces morbidity and mortality from a heart attack, stroke, coronary heart disease, prevents exacerbation of various chronic diseases, etc.

Young women who have not had rubella and chickenpox and have not been vaccinated before should be vaccinated against these diseases in advance (at least 3 months before their desired pregnancy). Indeed, transferred chickenpox or rubella during the entire period of expectation of the baby can cause serious complications with the development of congenital malformations. Young people who do not have mumps and are not vaccinated against this infection in childhood should also be vaccinated against this infection, which can lead to male infertility. In addition, given the high prevalence, carriage and the presence of latent forms of hepatitis A and B, it is advisable to be vaccinated against these infections for all people, regardless of gender and age.

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When traveling to endemic areas, you need to be vaccinated in advance against infections characteristic of the area (tick-borne encephalitis, typhoid fever, tularemia, yellow fever, etc.).

Modern vaccines

Currently, vaccines of well-known world manufacturers (GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Pasteur, Pfizer, etc.) are widely used. Such vaccines have some advantages – more often such vaccines are combined (include components that protect against several infections at the same time) and contain other preservatives. The degree of purification also varies; imported vaccines are produced in single-use vials or in syringe doses.

  • Priorix (Belgium) is a combined vaccine, which allows for simultaneous protection against rubella, measles, and mumps, which reduces the number of injections and makes vaccination more convenient for children and their parents;
  • Angerix B vaccine (Belgium) against hepatitis B is recognized by most experts as the safest and most effective vaccine in the world. This is the first recombinant vaccine in the world made without blood components and containing no preservatives;
  • The new generation vaccine Infanrix (Belgium) makes vaccination against pertussis, diphtheria, and tetanus practically safe. The pertussis component that previously often caused adverse reactions is lightweight in the Infanrix vaccine. That is why Infanrix is ​​recommended for vaccination of infants with various neurological pathologies who previously either received a long-term withdrawal from vaccination or were vaccinated with vaccines without pertussis component;
  • Infanrix vaccination can be combined with the introduction of the Hiberix vaccine (Belgium) against hemophilic infection. In addition, the Infanrix Hexa combination vaccine is actively used, which contains components against 6 major infections, namely against pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, hepatitis B and hemophilic infection. The tolerability of this vaccine is almost comparable to the tolerance of the Infanrix vaccine;
  • In order to maximize the safety of polio vaccination, it is advisable that the first two or three vaccinations are not live (oral polio vaccine – OPV) but the inactivated polio vaccine Imovax Polio (France) or Poliorix (Belgium);
  • Pentaxim vaccine, manufactured by a leading French company, contains several components that protect against 5 infectious diseases at the same time (whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, hemophilic infection). The use of this vaccine can significantly reduce the number of injections, which means reducing negative emotions in the baby during vaccination. Its advantages are also the cell-free pertussis component (like in the Infanrix vaccine) and the inactivated (killed) polio component. A thorough study of the Pentaxim vaccine over many years has confirmed its high efficacy and safety.
  • Prevenar vaccine against pneumococcal infections has been used for more than 10 years in the calendars of compulsory vaccination in developed countries. The vaccine allows protecting children and adults from serious diseases caused by pneumococcus: pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis and otitis media, which often lead to disability and even a dramatic outcome. It is especially important to start vaccinating the baby as early as possible since children under 2 years of age are most susceptible to this formidable infection. Vaccination against pneumococcus can be carried out on the same day with any other vaccine. Please note that according to the Schedule of Preventive Vaccinations, vaccination against pneumococcal infection is mandatory for babies 2 and 4.5 months of age with a booster dose of 15 months.
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Many parents think that all these vaccinations are a burden on the baby’s immunity. According to scientific evidence, the simultaneous administration of several vaccines does not have adverse effects on the child’s immune system. Children are exposed daily to several hundred pathogens of various diseases that cause a protective immune response.

Every day, a variety of microbes enter the body during the meal, and numerous bacteria live in the mouth and nose. A child is exposed to a significantly larger number of foreign antigens as a result of the common cold than from vaccines. In contrast, combination vaccines (including several components to protect against different infections) have many advantages. Thus, the simultaneous administration of several vaccines in one syringe simultaneously helps to reduce the number of visits to the clinic, which saves time and money and also ensures that the required vaccination schedule is observed. In addition, the use of combination vaccines leads to a decrease in the number of injections, which means that it reduces the pain and tears of a small patient.

We should also mention vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus can cause various diseases.

What parents need to know about the vaccination procedure

The child should be completely healthy at the time of vaccination. In order for the doctor and parents to be convinced of this, a clinical blood and urine test is prescribed a few days before vaccination (it is better if an adult takes the referral for these tests without bringing the child to the clinic). On the day of vaccination, immediately before the procedure, the doctor once again measures the temperature and examines the small patient, making sure that he or she is healthy. The doctor may ask about the baby’s diseases and allergic reactions.

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Before giving a referral for vaccination, the doctor should explain to the child’s parents the possible side effects of the vaccine. They should not be scared: such phenomena are extremely rare. The doctor should tell them which possible reactions are safe and do not require immediate intervention when the parents can cope on their own (for example, give the child an antipyretic), and in which cases they should immediately consult a specialist. After that, the parents sign an informed consent, meaning that they are aware of the essence of the procedure. Unfortunately, in district hospitals, all information often comes down to signing on a special form.

The ampoule should be removed from the package in the presence of the parent. Parents have the right to ask to inspect the ampoule with the drug, to make sure that it does not have cracks or other damage.

Half an hour after vaccination, you need to be close to the treatment room – in case of an allergic reaction. But since it is undesirable to stay in a crowd of people, it is better to take a walk around the clinic at this time.

Vaccination is the only proven effective and safe way to protect a child from deadly and disabling infections. But, like any medical manipulation, vaccination requires preparation and competent conduct. Before you vaccinate your child, be sure to consult your doctor for any questions that may arise.

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