Vaccines

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Overview

Vaccines are injections that are required to prevent the development of certain diseases, such as, whooping cough, measles, mumps, small pox, tuberculosis, etc.

The childhood vaccination process starts as early as a few hours after birth and it continues up to when the child is 15 months old. Adult vaccines however have a different schedule, as discussed below. The incidence of so many previously life-threatening diseases has gone down drastically since the advent of vaccines.

Adult vaccination schedule:

  • Influenza – one dose annually
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis – booster shot every 10 years
  • Varicella – 2 doses over entire lifetime
  • Papilloma virus – 3 doses between the ages of 19-26
  • Zoster – one dose after the age of 60
  • Measles, mumps, rubella – 1 dose between the age of 19-55
  • Hepatitis A – 1 dose between the age of 19-65+
  • Hepatitis B – 3 doses between the age of 19-65+

EPI Vaccination Schedule:

These are the following vaccines that are routinely administered, according to the child’s age:

  • BCG vaccine (for TB) soon after birth
  • Polio dose 0 soon after birth
  • Polio, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, and Hepatitis B vaccine at the ages 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks
  • Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the ages 9 months and 15 months

Causes

Within the vaccines, there is an altered, but harmless form of the organism causing the disease the vaccine is given for. When the harmless form of the organism is put into the body, the immune system produces a reaction against the organism, in order to make antibodies against the organism. Once the antibodies are in the blood stream, it is much easier for the body to fight off the real organism when it comes. This way the disease is prevented.

This immune reaction is the cause of the mild symptoms produced when a vaccine is administered to a child.

Symptoms

The following signs and symptoms are exhibited a few days after a person/baby has been injected with a vaccine:

  • Pain, redness and swelling at the site of the injection
  • Mild fever
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Shivering
  • Headaches

These symptoms are very mild and disappear within a short time.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There is no need to diagnose or treat these symptoms as they disappear within a few days.

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