Dr. Preeti Sharma

Sr. Consultant Pediatrician

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are given as injection or oral form to produce an antibody reaction against specific bacteria and viruses. This will help your child develop immunity against these dreadful diseases.

There are way too many vaccines. Will it weaken my child’s natural immunity?

Not at all. Vaccines do not affect the natural immunity of a child in anyway.

Can I give my baby only government vaccines?

That is your choice but just because a vaccine is not in government schedule does not mean it is not important. There are many factors to be considered before a vaccine is approved by government – financial, feasibility, other logistics. In fact some important vaccines like rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccine which were earlier not given in government centres are now part of their schedule. You can discuss with your Paediatrician about the vaccines and then take an informed decision.

What is difference between painful and painless vaccines?

Painless and painful vaccine is applicable only to the DPT combination vaccines. This is because of the pertussis component. The whole cell Pertussis or so called painful vaccine has higher chances of high grade fever, pain, vaccine site redness/ swelling, excessive crying. The acellular or so called painless vaccines have less chances of these side effects. Both are effective against the disease. Only in terms of side effects the difference is there.

What are the side effects of vaccines? Are they safe?

The childhood vaccinations are approved after many years of research and are very safe. The common side effects are:

  1. Fever
  2. Vaccine site pain
  3. Vaccine site redness/ swelling
  4. Excessive crying/ irritability
  5. Mild rashes – maybe seen after MMR and chicken pox vaccines
  6. Serious side effects like an allergic reaction, febrile seizures ARE EXTREMELY RARE

What can I do to comfort my baby post vaccination?

Your Pediatrician will prescribe paracetamol for pain/ fever/ excessive crying post vaccination. You can use that as required. The side effects can last up to 2-3 days. Don’t massage the baby’s vaccine site. If you find any unusual symptoms in your baby then consult your Pediatrician immediately.

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