Child Vaccine schedule: what you should know as a new parent

Introduction

Before the advent of immunization against certain diseases, the mortality rate of infants and children was high because they were vulnerable and susceptible to infections. The inventions of different vaccines from earlier times to date have contributed to stemming the tide to the barest minimum.

The emergence of various diseases gave rise to different and corresponding vaccines to fight the scourge. We are all protected against these harmful diseases before coming in contact with them through vaccination. The vaccines interact with your body's natural guards to strengthen the immune system in fighting rampaging viruses and bacteria trying to infiltrate the body.

To effectively combat the menace of these diseases, World Health Organization (WHO) and other Public Health Agencies encourage new parents to follow the recommended Child Vaccine Schedule. The schedule is to ensure that their children are immunized accordingly. The vital information you need about vaccination and the program is in the presentation that follows.

Childhood vaccine schedule

A childhood vaccine schedule is a checklist of recommended vaccines that indicates the needed vaccines, at what age, and how many doses at a time.

There is a range of ages for some vaccines, from birth to childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The vaccines protect us from diseases such as Hepatitis B, Measles, Pneumonia, Poliomyelitis, and so on.

How many vaccines were given in 1990?

Initially, the World Health Organization, through the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), targeted providing universal immunization for children in 1990, focusing on six preventable diseases, tuberculosis inclusive. However, as of the year, 1990 eight vaccines were available:

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Polio (Oral Polio Vaccine, OPV)
  • Hib

What is the 12-week vaccination?

This vaccination means that your newborn at age 12 weeks (3 months) is due for immunization against these diseases with their corresponding vaccines:

  • 6-in-1 vaccine (2nd dose): It protects against Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib), Polio, Tetanus, and Pertussis (Whooping cough).
  • PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine) - 1st dose
  • RV (Rotavirus Vaccine)

How to remember vaccination schedule UK

You have to monitor your vaccination schedule strictly. Your doctor will send you an appointment to bring your baby for immunization. You must go with your Redbook of immunization (Personal Child Health Record, PCHR).

In some countries, they will issue you a card for tracking vaccines you or your child have had and when the next one is due.

The UK routine immunisation schedule 2013/2014.

Do 2 year olds get vaccinations?

Yes, children of age 2 years get a flu vaccine annually . The vaccine is by nasal spray, which protects your child from contracting the flu. Children can quickly grasp and spread this disease to the vulnerable and older members of a family.

The symptoms include fever, headache, dry cough, aching muscles, stuffy nose, and sore throat.

UK childhood vaccination schedule

  • 8 weeks old baby

- 6-in-1 vaccine

- Rotavirus vaccine

- MenB

  • 12 weeks

- 6-in-1 vaccine

- Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine

- Rotavirus

  • 16 weeks

- 6-in-1 vaccine

- MenB

  • 1 year

- Hib/MenC

- MMR

-PCV

-MenB

  • 2 to 10years

- Flu vaccine

  • 3 years & 4 months

- MMR

- 4-in-1 booster

Are vaccines safe?

Yes, vaccines are safe to use. The side effects like a sore arm or mild fever are minimal and temporary. Conventionally, before scientists recommend any vaccine, it goes through rigorous testing over multiple stages of trials.

They also regularly monitor progress and information from many sources for signs that a vaccine may pose serious health hazards.

Vaccinations UK

Given the prevailing circumstance of diseases coming into the space, everyone needs vaccines on various occasions. In the UK, the following levels of vaccinations for different categories of people exist:

  • Vaccines for babies under 1-year-old
  • Vaccines for children of 1 to 15 years
  • Vaccines for adults
  • Vaccines for people at risk

Can a child receive several vaccines at once?

Giving a child several vaccines at a time has no negative effect, as proven scientifically.

Diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus use a combined vaccination , making it a fewer injection for the child. It also reduces discomfort for the child while getting the suitable vaccine at the right time to evade the risk of contracting a deadly disease.

What is the composition of a vaccine?

All the constituents of a vaccine play interactive roles in ensuring an effective and safe vaccine. They include:

  • The antigen: It helps our bodies to fight any disease.
  • Adjuvants: They help to build our immune system.
  • Preservatives: They make it possible for a vaccine to be effective.
  • Stabilizers: It protects vaccines during transportation and storage.

How does a vaccine function?

A vaccine reduces the risk of getting a disease through collaboration with your body's natural defenses to build protection. When your body receives a vaccine, the immune system responds. It sees the intruding germs like bacteria or viruses, produces antibodies and fights the germs, and recollects the foreign body and how to fight it.

What diseases do vaccines prevent?

Vaccines protect us against numerous diseases, especially the preventable ones such as cholera, Diphtheria, Cervical cancer, Ebola virus, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Hepatitis B, Measles, Influenza, Mumps, Tetanus, Varicella, Rubella, Polio, Rotavirus, Yellow fever, Pneumonia, Pertussis, Meningitis, Rabies, typhoid, and Japanese encephalitis.

Who can be vaccinated?

Almost all the human race can be vaccinated. However, some people should not get certain vaccines because of some medical conditions such as:

  • Chronic illness or treatment can interfere with the immune system.
  • If there are severe and life-threatening reactions to vaccine components.
  • If you are critically sick or have a severe fever on the day of vaccination.

Why should we get vaccinated?

We will all be at high risk of severe illness and disability from some diseases like meningitis, polio, and measles that are life-threatening. The two main reasons for vaccination are:

  • To protect ourselves and those around us.
  • Those that cannot be vaccinated, like very young babies and the critically ill, depending on the vaccinated persons to stay safe.

Any side effects from vaccination?

Synonymous with other medications, vaccines can trigger minor side effects like mild fever, pain, or redness at the injection site. However, severe or prolonged side effects are rare.

These reactions subside within a short time on their own. Scientists constantly monitor vaccines for safety and to detect any rare adverse effects.

Conclusion

The need for vaccination by everyone against preventable diseases is highly advantageous and life-saving, and World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that childhood vaccines alone save over 4 million lives yearly.

For ease of administration and consistency, most healthcare givers follow the recommended child vaccine schedule, which begins with the Hepatitis B vaccine for new borns at eight weeks old. Parents are encouraged to have their children immunized according to the program.

Some vaccines are recommended only under special conditions, for instance, only when children are more likely to get the disease vaccine prevents. There is a provision for combining several vaccines into one injection. For example, one injection combines diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, and Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine.

This combination reduces the number of injections needed, which does not reduce the safety or effectiveness of the vaccine. The child vaccine schedule covers babies less than 1 year to 3 years.

Links

1.https://who.int/teams/immunization-vaccines-and-biolgical/essential-programme-on-immunization

2.https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file

3.https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/vaccinations-and-immunisation-baby

4. https://amzn.to/3AEzRvT

5. https://yumyum-mama.com/blogs/news/breastfeeding

6.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/vaccines-and-immunization-what-is-vaccination?adgroupsurvey

7.msdmanuals.com/home/children-s-health-issues/vaccination-of-children/childhood-vaccination-schedule

8.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyfJN690IH0

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