Preventing ailments with Vaccinations

Preventive measures in every aspect of life are quintessential! Whether our health or our wealth everything needs to be prevented from any unfortunate incidents. When it comes to health, there are so many vulnerabilities that can make us ill. Bacteria, viruses, parasites all attack the body and there has to be a preventive mechanism to protect from the attack of foreign harmful substances.

What is vaccination?

Vaccination

Vaccinations

Yes! It is vaccination that plays a vital significant role in such cases. Vaccinations are the protection that are used to for fighting specific diseases that can make our health sick or harm the internal system of the body. They are incorporated in order to boost the body’s self-defense system or the immune system.

A virus, or bacteria, is intentionally injected to the body so that our immune system can prepare to fight any future infection.

Advent of vaccines

The advent of vaccines in human life takes us to ancient Greek civilizations where in 492 BC small pox vaccine was accidentally discovered. In 900AD, the Chinese happened to be the first to discover and bring it to cure. They found a vaccination called variolation to prevent small pox.

However as compared to the ancient times in the recent 50 years there has been tremendous research and discoveries in the life saving vaccinations being discovered and adopted. The Modern Immunization has however developed in India in 19th century which was not much behind the Western world.

Scope for Development

India still needs to speed up the immunization measures to save new born and young ones against deadly diseases. This is because vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) in India are still responsible for more than 5 lakh deaths annually in the country.

What can be vaccinated and what can’t be. How vaccinations are developed (if possible)?

Vaccines protect us from serious and life-threatening diseases. Below are few ailments which vaccines can act against:

  • Anthrax
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)
  • Influenza (Seasonal Flu)
  • Japanese Encephalitis (JE)
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • Pneumococcal
  • Poliomyelitis (Polio)
  • Rabies
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella (German Measles)
  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
  • Smallpox
  • Tetanus (Lockjaw)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • Yellow Fever

There are still many life threatening diseases which have no vaccination yet and research is still in process. Few of these include:

  • Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis)
  • Chikungunya
  • Dengue
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hookworm infection
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Malaria
  • Ross River
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus
  • Schistosomiasis

General vaccinations required at different stages of life cycle?

Vaccinations

Vaccinations

Now that we have seen so many diseases can be prevented with the vaccinations for specific diseases it is essential to know when which one is essential to take. Not every vaccination is needed as soon as we are born isn’t it. So how do we know when to take what vaccination? Below is a bird’s eye view to these queries:

For new born babies up to 18 months below are the needed vaccinations:

Vaccination for When
Hepatitis B Age between 1 to 2 month, and again at 6 to 18 months
DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months

Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b)

2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 to 15 months

Pneumococcal

2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 to 15 months

Polio

2 months, 4 months, 6 to 18 months

Rotavirus

2 months, 4 months, 6 months

Influenza

6 months or later. The first time a child receives the flu vaccine, he needs two doses separated by at least four weeks. If a child has been given only H1N1 or a seasonal vaccine last year, he’ll need two doses this year

MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)

12 to 15 months

Varicella (chicken pox)

12 to 15 months

Hepatitis A

Two doses are given at least three months apart between 12 and 23 months

 

In the preteen ages, again children need few vaccinations

 

Vaccination for When
Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) Age 11 or 12
HPV 11 or 12 year old (girls and boys) – 3 doses of HPV vaccine
MCV age 11 or 12
Flu Under 9 years
Pneumococcal 6 through 18 years
Hepatitis A Multiple Shots 7-18 years

 

In adults depending on medical conditions and some by age should be given

 

Vaccination for When
Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) Td booster every 10 years
HPV (women) 3 doses of HPV vaccine between 19-26 years
HPV (men) 6 doses of HPV vaccine between 19-26 years
Flu Every year 19-65 years of age
Chicken Pox 2 doses 19-65 years of age
MMR Measles, mumps, rubella 1 or 2 doses 19-49 years
Shingles 1 dose 60-65 years

 

Vaccination based on Epidemics

Adults needs may vary as many of these above epidemics are region based and may not be needed for people in a specific geographic region

Who can administer vaccinations?

For safe and efficient immunization appropriate procedures for vaccine administration is essential. Vaccine administration practices are chalked on depending on clinical trials which plan the dose, route and schedule for each of the vaccine. Professional standards are followed for medication and vaccine administration, as well as for all jurisdictional policies and procedures.

 

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