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Childhood Vaccinations : Vaccines to consider

Updated on February 29, 2012

Medical Care for Children

No one wants an unhealthy child. Most parents spend a lot of time and effort on ensuring that their child is brought us as a healthy, well adjusted child. The trouble lies in the fact that there are many different opinions about how to achieve that single end result.

While parenting styles differ from family to family and parent to parent in the same family, all agree that regular medical care is needed for the child to be healthy. Here too however there is some debate over if a child must be given vaccinations or not.

For those who believe it is unnecessary I must say this hub will be of little use. For those who believe that protecting a child from various diseases using vaccinations is a good idea, read on to learn about the basic vaccinations that you child below 6 must have.

Why use Vaccines?

What is a Vaccine?

A Vaccine is essentially an injection. However it contains germs and disease causing antigens. So what do we inject our child with them? These antigen are weakened versions of the actual disease causing ones and allow the child's immune system to fight back. This allows the child to develop the right antibodies it needs to fight these antigens. So in the future if the child is attacked by the same antigen the body's immune system will be ready with the right antibody to fight and prevent the disease.

What are the Essential Childhood Vaccines?

As your child's immune system is totally unprepared for any kind of germs it is natural for kids to keep falling ill till the immune system develops all the right antibodies to keep disease at bay. To help the child in this process there are a set of vaccinations that you must inject the child with at specific ages.

The picture below gives the name of the vaccine and the recommended age for the injection. It has been taken from the recommendations of the American Academy of Family Physicians. All over the world you have more or less the same child vaccination schedule in place. Some countries add extra ones that are more likely to strike the child in that country to this list.


Recommended Vaccines

Courtesy American Academy of Family Physicians
Courtesy American Academy of Family Physicians

The Vaccine and the Disease

Hepatitis B

The HepB vaccine as it is known is used to protect the child against hepatitis B. This is a disease which affects the liver. It is a series of shots which must be given to the child at periodic intervals.

Rotavirus

This strain of diarrhea causing virus is a disease that most infants suffer from. It is a contagious and highly infective virus. The RV vaccine helps children produce antibodies to fight the virus better.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis

The DTP vaccine is a three in one shot. It protects the child against Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis as mentioned in the name. Diphtheria is a disease affecting the throat. Tetanus is related to painful muscle spasms and Pertussis is the formal name for whooping cough.

Haemophilus influenzae type b

The Hib vaccine can protect the child from the flu like symptoms that can eventually lead to meningitis and pneumonia. It is also possible for the child to choke due to the severe throat infection that this organism can cause.

Pneumococcal

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or PCV fights against a bacteria which tends to cause ear infections in children. Again it is a series of four doses given to the infants. It can also be given to older children who are at risk from the bacteria.

Inactivated Poliovirus

Polio is not yet eradicated and this despite the vaccine being an oral one. It takes two drops of the IPV vaccine given to the child to drink to begin the immunization. It is a series of oral drops that the child must be given periodically to avoid contracting polio.

Influenza

Also known as the annual flu shot, this vaccine helps protect the children from flu. While many people avoid getting the annual flu shot, there is a definite difference in the body's immune system compared to those who have not had the flu shot.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella

The MMR vaccine is again a three in one protector against these three diseases. Measles can start as a bad cold with a rash and then become far more serious if not immediately treated. It is highly infectious. Mumps is also a viral infection which is very infectious. Rubella results in high fever, swollen glands and even rashes.

Varicella

The Varicella vaccine helps protect the child against chicken pox. From personal experience I can say this is truly the worst of all the diseases that a child can suffer from. It is a series of two shots that I highly advocate.

Hepatitis A

The Hep A vaccine is a series of two doses given at competing one year and one and half year. If you wish to protect your child against jaundice this is needed. While you may feel that jaundice is not something that can affect your family, it can.

Meningococcal

The meningococcal conjugate vaccine or MCV protects your child against four different strains of a bacteria known to cause bacterial meningitis. This is a disease where the brain and spinal cord are at risk. I don't think you need to be instructed on how important it is to protect these two organs.


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    • abbykorinnelee profile image

      Abigayle Malchow 

      7 years ago from Ripon Wisconsin

      I am a parent of four kids and my son has Infantile Autism and Sensory Integration and a daughter with Asperger's. I do believe that one cause in quite a few that are environmentally based are all part of the drastic 1000 perccent increase in diagnosis over thirty years and I have done research from valid sources to back all of it up so Yes, I believe that vaccines in general for many reasons are a factor and that its a huge one in my son BUT I also have vaccinated all four children. My autistic kids are the middle two and my baby got vaccinated up to age 18 months when I was concerned about eight given to him an once and he got really sick with a viral infection like the other two did and I haven't vaccinated him since BUT I WILL get them updated for school. I have only refused my son who is the more severed from the trauma of the second varicella as he was testing in blood work immune...my oldest and did receive the whopping cough. I won't vaccinate my autistic son if its not necessary. He didn't get the H1N1 only because I forgot to send the signed permission slip back to school but did get the flu mist. Its possible for it to be a factor in autism and its also not the only thing that did give them the disorder. I don't beleive in the amount of vaccines and think the rotavirus did more harm then good as they pulled it off the market after my son got his doses and as military kids they get more then the civilians do so I don't believe its responsible to do that. I don't like that the govt likes to think we are ignorant and can't research ourselves...but I am on all sides and believe many things did cause it...does it matter what it is really except for the future of course...because I don't need to fix my son...he's give us more through autism then any thing he could have otherwise. He is an incredible kid that came a long way and I am thankful for his MMR induced violent fits...he taught me a lot about myself and the type of person and mom I was capable of....

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR

      cashmere 

      8 years ago from India

      Glad to have helped you with your holiday homework!

    • profile image

      ahem ahem 

      8 years ago

      thanks a lot cashmere

      your info has help me complete my holiday homework

      lol!!!!

      -_-

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR

      cashmere 

      9 years ago from India

      Yes Sweetie, in India the basic essential vaccinations are provided free by the government. Unfortunately there are still children who get left out because of the ignorance of the parents. The high rate of illiteracy is to blame for this.

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 

      9 years ago from India

      Thanks for such a nice info cashmere, and it is so good that this vaccination is done all over India in every village and town. My close friend is active with the govt hospital and i twice has gone with him to various villages where he showed me the immunization being done.. i felt so good at least some good work is being done for the poor people. Their aim: no children should be left unimmunized.

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR

      cashmere 

      9 years ago from India

      Thanks Hello! I hope you will use the information.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a very informative hub.

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR

      cashmere 

      9 years ago from India

      I know what you mean. I insist on the Dad being present as my son can really bring the roof down with his lung power. Plus I hate looking at needles myself.

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 

      9 years ago from On New Footing

      My two youngest ones have to go and get the second dose of the swine flu shot Monday. The youngest one threw such a tantrum last time that I am a little scared to try and go to the doctor without help THIS time!!!

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