Immunization

Immunization in infancy

Immunization is the process of inducing immunity artificially by either vaccination (active immunization) or administration of antibody (passive immunization). Immunization represents a remarkably successful and very cost-effective means of preventing infectious diseases. Infants and children in this country routinely receive vaccines against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, Hib infection, hepatitis B and varicella (Chicken pox). Rotavirus vaccine is a newer vaccine against diarrhea during infancy.

These vaccines are given as injections (on the thigh and arm) or orally (by mouth). The table below shows the schedule for the various vaccines that are given in the hospital.

AGE/WEIGHT/VACCINE/ROUTE


BIRTH
>> BCG: Intradermal, 0.05ML
>> HEPATITIS B (1) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML
>> OPV (0) - Oral. 2 Drops

6 WEEKS
>> OPV (1) - Oral, 2 Drops
>> HEPATITIS B (2) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML
>> DTP (1) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML
>> HIB (1) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML
>> PNEUMOCOCCAL (1) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML
>> ROTARIX (1) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML

10 WEEKS
>> OPV (2) - Oral, 2Drops
>> DTP (2) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML
>> HIB (2) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML
>> PNEUMOCOCCAL (2) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML
>> ROTARIS (2) - Oral, 1.5MLS

14 WEEKS
>> OPV (3) -Oral, 2 Drops
>> HEPATITIS B (3) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML
>> DTP (3) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML
>> HIB (3)-Intramuscular,0.5ML
>> PNEUMOCOCCAL (3) - Intramuscular, 0.5ML

6 MONTHS
>> VITAMIN A - Oral, 100,000 I.U

BCG prevents Tuberculosis
OPV (Oral polio vaccine) prevents poliomyelitis
DPT prevents diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus
HBV prevents Hepatitis B virus infection
Hib prevents Haemophilus Influenza type B infection
Rotavirus prevents rotavirus infection
MMR prevents mumps, measles, rubella infection

Adverse effects after Immunizations

Vaccine components can cause allergic reactions in some recipients. These include local reaction at the site of injection, fever, skin rash, and refusal to feed.

Important Notice

The presence of fever does not preclude the administration of these vaccines except in cases where the child's body temperature is greater than 39 degrees. Also, babies can be breast-fed before or after giving any of these vaccines, especially OPV.

However, where there has been evidence of a reaction or convulsion to any of the vaccine or when a child is very sick (not low grade fever or cough and catarrh), the administration of the vaccine can be deferred, or better still, consult the advice of your Paediatrician.

These vaccines are given at specified ages. The parents/care-givers are enjoined to keep these appointments so that the child does not miss any of the appointments.

It is much cheaper to prevent a disease than to treat the disease when it occurs.