24 June, 2019

Important Vaccines in the first few years of baby’s life

The first few years are very essential for your baby’s general health and well-being. Your newborn may be at risk from deadly diseases such as polio, chickenpox, etc. Infectious viral diseases such as polio are caused by a virus that attacks a child’s nervous system and needs immunization or vaccination to prevent the same. For instance, immunization for polio are given in the form of Pulse Polio drops.

When it comes to your baby’s health, you want to be absolutely sure and safe. Therefore, every parent wants to know more about the vaccinations to be administered to your child from the time of birth. Due to this very reason, pediatricians give out a vaccination schedule to the parents. This vaccination schedule has a list of all the mandatory and optional vaccines that your baby needs in his/her growing years to protect them from several diseases.

Here is a quick roundup of the most important vaccines that your child may need in the first few years.

Immunization Schedule for Newborn Baby

Vaccination at Birth:

There are three vaccines which are given as soon as the baby is born. These are:

  • BCG: The Bacillus Calmette-Guérin is a vaccine given to prevent tuberculosis. It is a mandatory vaccine as there is a global attempt by health agencies to eradicated TB completely, especially in highly dense countries like India. BCG vaccine may leave a small scar on the arm.
  • OPV: Oral polio vaccine is given to protect against the debilitating polio disease. This is also a mandatory vaccine. The reason why it is compulsory is not just for the safety of an individual child, but also to eradicate the disease completely. These are given as drops to infants.
  • Hepatitis B (1st Dose): This vaccine prevents liver infections caused by Hepatitis virus and is mandatory at the time of birth. However, 2 or 3 doses of the vaccine are recommended. Also, doctors suggest that the vaccine be given at the time of birth and booster doses can be planned later.

After this, there are several other vaccines that are recommended to be given to your child. Here are their details listed month-wise:

Vaccine at 1 month:

In this month, only one vaccine is given which is the Hepatitis B (2nd Dose). This is usually given when the baby is 5 weeks or older.

Vaccines at 2 months:

In the second month, the child is vaccinated with the first dose against a host of diseases such as whooping cough and meningitis, etc.

  • OPV1/OPV1+IPV1 (Inactivated Polio Vaccine): These are also some of the vaccines given to protect against Polio, but this is in injection form and is given on the infant’s thigh.
  • DPT/DTaP (1st Dose): The first dose of this vaccine is given to prevent Diphtheria (upper respiratory illness), Pertussis (Whooping Cough) and Tetanus in children, and is a mandatory vaccine. For complete dosage, the infant has to get 3 shots of DPT/DTaP vaccine within the 1st year of birth. This is also injected on the thigh.
  • HiB (1st Dose): Hib or Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine prevents serious infections caused by a type of bacteria called Haemophilus influenza type b. These infections include meningitis, pneumonia, and epiglottises.
  • Rotavirus: The first dose of this vaccine is given to provide protection against rotavirus attack, which is a major cause of diarrhea and other gastroenteritis disorders.
  • PCV: The first dose of this vaccine protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria that cause diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis.

Your child may have mild fever after these vaccines and the pediatrician will prescribe medication for the same.

Vaccines at 3 Months

This month the second doses of all vaccines that were administered in the 1st month are given. These include OPV2/OPV2+IPV2, DPT/DTaP, HiB, Rotavirus, and PCV.

Vaccines at 4 Months

During the 4th month, the 3rd doses of most of the vaccines are given. These include OPV3/OPV3+IPV3, DTP, DTaP, Hib, PCV, Rotavirus, etc.

Vaccination at 6 Months

During this month, the 3rd dose of Hepatitis B vaccine is given.

Vaccine at 9 Months

During this month, the MMR Vaccine is given. This is done to protect against measles, mumps and rubella.

Vaccine at 12 Months

Once the course of Hepatitis B vaccines is over, the doctor suggests a shot of vaccine to protect against Hepatitis A. This is given after the 1st birthday as two shots 6 months apart.

Vaccine at 15-18 Months

  • MMR: A booster dose of MMR is given at this stage.
  • Varicella vaccine: Varicella vaccine, also known as chickenpox vaccine, is a vaccine that protects against chickenpox. One dose of vaccine prevents 95% of moderate disease and 100% of severe disease. The first dose is given at this stage.
  • PCV: Booster dose is given at this stage.
  • IPV+OPV booster dose is also given at this stage.

As the child grows, there are many other vaccines that are administered over the years. Check with your doctor about the same.

Things to Keep in Mind

Here are some of the points to keep in mind about baby vaccinations.

  1. Most experts advice that a gap of minimum one month should be maintained between two doses of vaccine.
  2. Take your vaccination chart along when you visit a pediatrician to check what vaccine is due.
  3. Vaccines come in different brands and your pediatrician will suggest accordingly.
  4. Do not feed your child heavily before vaccinations. They may cry in pain which can lead to vomiting.
  5. To provide comfort to the baby, try and breastfeed after the vaccination.
  6. You may notice a change in eating pattern in moods for 2-4 days after vaccination.
  7. Do not massage the area where the shot was given, for up to 3 days.
  8. Baby may get slight fever which can last for 2-3 days.

When your baby is born in KIMS Cuddles, the best maternity hospital in Hyderabad, he will have the best doctors and pediatrician attending to him in the first few days of his life. Visit us for more information about vaccination of both child and the parent.

*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.


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