Every year we celebrate world immunization day to spread awareness among public about various vaccines that protect our children from various deadly diseases. Everyone would have vaccinated their children according to schedule advised by their family doctors.
Has anything changed in the current scenario? Do I need to give any newer vaccines which were not available previously? Suppose I missed few doses of vaccines, what should I do? This article will be answering such basic questions.
Before going into details, have a look at revised immunization timetable and check with your child’s vaccination card.
Significant changes to immunization schedule are:
- Injectable polio vaccine can be given along with oral polio drops in all children who can afford the vaccine. Three doses of IPV is recommended along with one booster at 15-18mths. IPV gives better protection when given along with OPV drops.
- IAP now recommends two doses of MMR against past recommendation of only one dose of MMR. Make sure your kid has received two doses of MMR which can be given anytime after 8 weeks from first dose.
- Tdap is recommended to be used instead of TT or Td at 10 years. Advantage is in addition to protection from tetanus it also boosts the waning diphtheria and pertusis immunity. It can also be given to children >10 years and adults of any age as a replacement for TT, if they have not received Tdap in the past.
- Rotaviral vaccine – It is recommended after one to one discussion with parents. It protects against rotavirus causing diarrhea. Depending on the brand two to three doses are recommended but vaccination has to be completed before six months of age.
- HPV vaccine – IAP recommends offering HPV vaccine to all fedmales who can afford the vaccine. This newer vaccine gives protection against cervical cancer and three doses are given from ten years of age. Catch up vaccination is permitted upto 26 years of age.
- Varicella vaccine- Newer recommendation is to give two doses irrespective of the age group of children. Probably you would have given a single dose. Consider now as the right time for second dose of chicken pox.
- Typhoid vaccine- This is not a newer vaccine. But people forget the fact that this vaccine has to be taken every three years once starting from two years of age. Vaccine protection starts fading after three years hence needs to be repeated.
- Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13) – Conjugated pneumococcal vaccine is recommended after one to one discussion with parents. Routine vaccination will be three doses and one booster. But as age increases the number of doses required decreases. You need to discuss with your physician about number of doses for your child.
Regarding lapse in immunization schedule, we need not re initiate all the vaccines from scratch. Only vaccine doses that has been missed has to be given. Immunization schedule should be completed at the next available opportunity. So if you have missed any dose of vaccine, don’t hesitate to complete the series. You need not restart the entire vaccination. Similarly any number of vaccines can be given on a single day.
So on this world immunization day let us have a look at our child’s vaccination card. Let us vaccinate our kids with newer available vaccines and also complete vaccinations that were missed previously. Let us give our kids disease free healthy lives.
Asst Professor, Dept of Pediatrics
SRM Medical College