World Immunization Week 2018 is one of the important occasions in the field of health.
Every year, World Immunization Week is celebrated from April 24 to April 30.
Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from diseases which can be prevented from vaccines.
These diseases include diphtheria, hepatitis B,cervical cancer, mumps, measles, pertussis, pneumonia, diarrhea, rubella, tetanus and polio amongst others.
According to the World Health Organization, 116.5 million infants received 3 doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine in 2016.
The vaccine offers protection against infectious diseases that are capable of causing serious illness and disability.
Some of the most important vaccines which you must know
1. Human papillomavirus vaccine
Human papillomavirus vaccine is passed through genital contact. It can cause vaginal, cervical and vulvar cancers in women. Among men, it can cause anal and throat cancers, and genital warts. Human papillomavirus vaccine is recommended to be given to girls between the ages 11 and 12. It can also be given till 26 years of age in those who have not been vaccinated with it.
2. Chicken pox vaccine
Chicken pox vaccine is an important vaccine to be given to children. Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that 2 doses of chicken pox vaccines should be given to children between ages 12 months to 12 years. The first vaccine is suggested to be given between 12 to 15 months and the second one between 4 to 6 years of age.
The vaccine is considered to be safe. Some common side effects like rashes, fever, soreness, swelling and redness around the injection site are possible. In some rare cases, chicken pox vaccine might lead to low platelet count, brain injuries, paralysis of one body part.
3. Tdap booster
Tdap boosters are a combination of shots which protect adults from diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Tdap boosters are recommended to be given around ages 10 or 11. Pregnant women should get the vaccine in order to protect their babies.
4. Hepatitis A vaccine
An acute liver disease caused by hepatitis A virus, hepatitis A has symptoms that can last for weeks, and sometimes even months. Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all children between 1 and 2 years of age. This vaccine is given in 2 shots in a gap of 6 months. The vaccine is relatively safe and might only result in soreness around the injection site, loss of appetite, tiredness and headache. In case of hives, dizziness, weakness, fast heartbeat and facial swelling, visit your doctor immediately.
5. Meningococcal vaccine
Meningococcal is a bacterial infection which causes meningitis. Meningitis is a condition which causes inflammation in the protective layer surrounding brain and spinal cord, and blood poisoning. Sharing utensils, living in closed quarters or inhaling smoke of an infected person can make children catch meningitis. Meningococcal vaccine should be given to children between ages of 11 to 18, in 1 dose.
6. Rotavirus vaccine
Rotavirus is a highly contagious virus which can cause severe level of diarrhea in infants and young children. It can also cause vomiting and fever. If rotavirus is left untreated, it can cause dehydration.
A number of rotavirus deaths are reported yearly and hence it is important to get your child with rotavirus vaccine. 2 vaccines for rotavirus infections are approved, which have to be given in 2 to 3 doses. The first dose should be given before 15 weeks and the last must be given by 8 months of age.
Research suggests that all babies should not get the rotavirus vaccines as they can have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. The vaccine is not recommended for babies with severe combined immunodeficiency, immune system problems or bowel blockage.
Side effects of rotavirus vaccines include diarrhea and vomiting. They are mild and go away on their own.