Q and A on Vaccination
Parents are concerned about the health and safety of their children and administering vaccines is one of the best ways to protect them against infections. Although vaccines are manufactured using disease-causing organisms, these viruses and bacteria are destroyed or weakened, allowing the immune system to defend the body against the disease while preventing or minimizing its symptoms.
Vaccines are important because they prevent certain childhood diseases, which are highly communicable and may lead to serious consequences both in children and in adults. Vaccines also play a role in reducing the risk of infections that are not common but are associated with severe life-threatening conditions and/or disabilities. Before vaccines became widely available, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent.
In most cases, being vaccinated provides the same quality of protection as getting the disease itself, with the advantage of avoiding the complications and risk of death.
There are some diseases like tetanus and diphtheria, which in spite of the child getting the infection, will not provide protection and thus, will still require vaccination.
Although vaccination will not guarantee 100% protection, vaccinated children, if they do develop the disease, are expected to have the milder form.
If your child’s vaccination record cannot be obtained, he should be given the missed vaccines depending on his present age and medical history. If you are worried that your child might be given more vaccines than needed, extra doses will not lead to adverse reactions. In fact, missed vaccinations are more dangerous since these may lead to low protection or no protection at all.
|VACCINE||NUMBER OF DOSES|
|Hepatitis B||3 or 4, depending on the schedule used|
|H. Influenzae Type B||4|
|Rotavirus||2 or 3|
|Influenza||2 doses initially (until 8 years old), then yearly thereafter|
|Japanese B encephalitis||2|
|Human Papilloma Virus||2 or 3|
Your daughter needs the following:
• Childhood vaccines, which she may have missed during that period (catch-up vaccines)
• Those whose protection will wane over time (such as diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus booster)
• Vaccines given yearly (such as flu vaccine)
• Vaccine against cervical cancer