In today’s post I bring to you the vaccination schedule in India, basics of vaccination, common myths, FREE printable vaccination schedule and catch up charts which you can download and keep with you for reference.
Also we will be discussing on what to do if you miss a vaccine shot at the recommended scheduled time.
We all know that prevention is better than cure and vaccination is one way to prevent diseases from attacking our children.
What is a vaccine and how does it work?
A vaccine is usually made from the weakened or killed form of a disease-causing microbe or products or substances obtained from that microbe.
A vaccine when injected into human body stimulates the production of antibodies (substances produced by our body to fight diseases) and thus it makes our body to develop an active acquired immunity to a particular disease.
By active acquired immunity we mean that after getting vaccinated, our body’s immune system develops the ability to identify and destroy that disease-causing microbe whenever our immune system comes in contact with it.
Why getting vaccinated is important for your child?
Those who are still in doubt or fear of vaccinating your child, please do read the below benefits you get by immunizing your child.
- Vaccination saves your child’s life
By vaccinating your child you are providing a life long protection for him/her from a range of potentially dangerous or fatal diseases. Once your child has been vaccinated against a disease, his/her immune system can fight that disease more effectively.
- Vaccinations can be trusted
Scientists, doctors and health care professionals test and review vaccines for their safety and efficiency and after that only they are given to your child. Serious life threatening side effects following a vaccination are very very rare.
- Side effects of vaccinations are negligible than actual disease
The side effects following a vaccination are very very mild compared to the symptoms of the actual disease. Side effects of vaccination can include pain, redness or itching at the injection site, fever or dizziness and fatigue. All these are temporary and usually go away in a day or two.
- Helps to completely eliminate diseases
India is now polio free, thanks to the mass pulse polio campaigns conducted by our government. Polio was a very common disease in India. As a result of the mass pulse polio campaigns no new polio cases has been reported in India for the past few years. So polio virus is completely eradicated from our country.
- Provides peace of mind
Once you are vaccinated you no longer have to worry about getting caught with that disease. So peace of mind is guaranteed.
- Saves money and time
Getting vaccinated against particular diseases is a good investment. If you are not vaccinated and later in life if you get any of these diseases it can cost heavily on your wallet and take a lot of your valuable time.
- Good for the community
Yes, by vaccinating you are also taking a step to ensure that the other people in the community are also protected from the disease. By protecting your family with vaccination you are also helping to prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.
- Provides protection for the future generation
As a result of the mass immunization programs many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago are no longer to be seen now. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease and now children in this generation are longer under the treat of smallpox. So by vaccinating your child you are helping to eliminate some diseases and providing a protection for future generation too.
Common myths and the actual facts about vaccination:
There are so many myths spreading about vaccination and this puts many parents in confusion. Let me help you to burst some of these myths.
Myth #1 Too many vaccines can overload my child’s immune system
Fact: A child’s immune system has the capacity to handle the antigens in the vaccines. No evidence suggests that vaccinations can “overload” a child’s immune system.
Myth #2 Combination vaccines or more than one vaccine at a time can be risky
Fact: Vaccines are equally effective when given in combination as they are given individually.
When vaccines for more than one disease is combined to form a single shot, we can complete the recommended vaccinations on schedule with fewer clinical visits and also it is money and time saving.
Example: In MMR vaccine Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccines are combined to form a single vaccine as MMR and that means fewer injections for your little one.
Myth #3 Vaccines are one of the reasons for autism and other disorders
Fact: There is no association with vaccines and autism. All these controversy started due to a fraudulent research paper that was published in 1998 in the medical journal The Lancet. The author of the paper Mr. Andrew Wakefield was accused of producing claims that were unsupported by scientific evidence. Many serious studies were conducted after this and all failed to find any connection between MMR vaccine and autism.
Myth #4 Some diseases are already eradicated from my country, so no need to vaccinate my child for that disease
Fact: Although certain diseases are completely eradicated from your country, the bacteria/viruses that cause these diseases are still there in some other parts of the world. If you are not protected by immunization, chances are there that you can get infected with these diseases while you travel outside your country or from people who are foreign to your country.
Myth #5 The mercury in vaccines can cause health hazards
Fact: Thiomersal (also known as thimerosal) is a mercury based preservative used in some vaccines to prevent bacterial and fungal growth, to inactivate certain organisms and toxins and to maintain a sterile production line. The amount of mercury in these vaccines is well below the recommended mercury level that can be there in a human body. So the amount of mercury you get from vaccinations doesn’t cause any harm to your body.
Myth #6 Don’t vaccinate if a child is having fever/common cold or is sick
Fact: Vaccinations can be administered even if children are having mild fever or common cold during the time of vaccination.
Researches show that even if a child has a mild illness during the time of vaccination it will not lower the child’s ability to react appropriately to the vaccine injected. However always inform your doctor if your child is sick.
IAP recommended vaccines and vaccination schedule in India:
IAP (Indian Association of Pediatrics) has recommended some vaccines for routine use and are supposed to be taken by all children in the country.
Vaccines recommended by IAP for routine use
|2||HiB||Haemophilus influenzae type B|
|6||DPT||Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (For children under 7 years)|
|8||MMR||Measles, mumps and rubella|
|9||Hepatitis A||Hepatitis A|
|14||Tdap||Booster dose against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis for children above 11 yrs|
Talk with your doctor to know whether your child falls under the category of high-risk children and take these vaccines as directed by your doctor.
Vaccines for high risk children given under special circumstances
|3||Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine|
|6||Yellow Fever Vaccine|
|7||Pneumococcal Polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV 23)|
High-risk children are children who are perceived with higher treat of being infected by a particular disease due to their physical, medical, environmental or social conditions.
Below is the recommended Immunization Schedule for routine vaccines as per Indian Academy of Pediatrics.
Vaccination schedule in India (Infographic):
Always try to follow the recommended Immunization schedule and try to get your baby vaccinated on time.
What to do if your baby misses a shot during the scheduled time?
Vaccinations work best when they are given at the scheduled time. But you don’t have to worry if you missed certain vaccines due to various reasons.
For most vaccines a catch-up dose can be given if you missed giving the vaccines as per the actual schedule. You can also read about polio drops for your baby.
For details please DOWNLOAD THE CATCH-UP SCHEDULE
Things to do when you visit your pediatrician for vaccinating your child:
- Always tell your doctor if your child is having any illness at the time of vaccination. Let your doctor decide whether it is safe to give the shot if your baby is sick
- Have an immunization record to keep track of your vaccinations
- Always update your child’s immunization record and make sure you get it filled up each time your child is vaccinated
- Ask your doctor/nurse about the common side effects of each vaccine
- Ask your doctor what to do when you see any of the side effects be it a fever, swelling, redness or the common papule (a lesion at the site of injection) that develops after a BCG injection
- Call your doctor immediately if you notice any side effects that are not common or if you are in any ways concerned about the child’s health condition after immunization
- Ask for the vaccine manufacture’s name and lot number
- Do ask your doctor about the next vaccine scheduled for your child
Hope this article on vaccination schedule in India has helped in erasing at least some of the common doubts you had regarding immunizations and vaccines.
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