Parenthood is an experience like no other. Sometimes the journey may feel like an overwhelming joy and other times it can feel frustrating and clueless. However, what remains constant since the beginning of this journey is love, care and protection towards your child. Giving the best of everything is something that every parent promises his or her child. One of the important aspects of this promise is giving your baby the best protection against deadly diseases which means being proactive than being reactive. Vaccination is one such preventive measure that plays a key role in your child’s health and safety, especially in the first few years after birth.
Like babies, parents too have no specific parenting manual. A new parent may have millions of questions when it comes to vaccination. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by parents regarding vaccination.
What is immunization?
Immunization is the process of administering vaccines for the development of the body’s protective response.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines help your immune system fight infections more efficiently by sparking your immune response to specific diseases. Then, if the virus or bacteria ever invades your body in the future, your immune system will already know how to fight it.
Are vaccines safe?
For vaccines the benefits outweigh the risk. Your child is far more likely to be hurt by a vaccine-preventable disease than by a vaccine. All vaccines go through rigorous safety testing, including clinical trials, before they are approved for the public. Countries will only register and distribute vaccines that meet rigorous quality and safety standards.
Why should I vaccinate my child?
Vaccines save lives. Vaccines will help protect your child against diseases that can cause serious harm or death, especially in infants where immune response is still developing. It’s important to vaccinate your child to protect him or her from highly contagious disease such as measles, diphtheria and polio. Can a vaccine cause my baby to get sick?
Almost all sickness or discomfort after vaccination is minor and temporary, such as a soreness at the injection site or mild fever.. If parents are concerned, they should contact their doctor or health care provider. However, with new improved technology today acellular vaccines may cause milder side effects post vaccination which means less fever, redness , swelling . This means more comfort for you and your baby.
Can I delay the vaccine schedule?
One of the best ways you can protect your child is to follow the recommended vaccine schedule in your country. Any time you delay a vaccine, you’re increasing your child’s vulnerability to disease.
What is DPT vaccine?
It is a combination vaccine that protects against three diseases: Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus.
What is a or DTaP vaccine?
Acellular vaccines contain only essential cellular material from a particular antigen rather than including all the components which are mostly found in the painful variants. This makes them cause less reactions post vaccination.
What is DTaP versus DTwP vaccine?
DTwP vaccine: Normal/whole cellvaccine as it is called, it contains the entire killed pertussis bacteria with the cell covering inside the vaccine
DTaP vaccine: Acellular vaccine as it is called, contains the killed pertussis bacteria with the cell covering removed. The cell covering of pertussis bacteria is responsible for most of the side effects of DPT vaccine like fever, pain, etc.
What is a 6 in 1 DTaP Vaccine?
With advanced vaccine technology, there is a combination vaccine that protects your baby against six diseases namely polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B, and haemophilus influenza B. This means your baby can have protection against these diseases with a single prick and not multiple ones. For parents, it means fewer visits to pediatricians and higher compliance to vaccination schedule.
How do we ensure these vaccines are safe?
A very important aspect for a vaccine is its quality in terms of production, packaging and transportation etc. Quality of the vaccines is reviewed by local drug regulators as well as in some cases by international bodies such as World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF. WHO prequalification of vaccines is a comprehensive assessment that takes place through a standardized procedure aimed at determining whether the product meets requirements for safety and efficacy in immunization programmes.
How do I take care of my baby after the dose?
Your child may experience fever, soreness, and some swelling and redness in the area where the shot was given. Consult your physician to adequately manage and decrease the severity of these reactions.
When do I call my doctor?
If you observe the following symptoms do not hesitate to see your doctor:
In a nut shell, parents have to stay informed about the pros and cons of immunizing their baby and what works best to safeguard him or her from life threatening illnesses and diseases. Talk to your Doctor and make the best decision for your baby, because together you give the best care to your child.
This is a part of the public awareness initiative on vaccination supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur believes in a world where no one suffers from a vaccine preventable disease. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.