Vaccination of babies throughout childhood is essential because it helps provide immunity and protect against deadly diseases before children are exposed to them. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection. With all types of vaccines, the body remembers how to fight that infection in the future. But how does that work? It does it by strengthening the bodys immune system. The bodys immune system is not fully developed at birth which can put the child at a greater risk for infection. Here are some advices from top 8 pediatricians about the importance of vaccinating your child at the right time.
Dr Sachinder Jain Nawal (MBBS, DCH, MD, Pediatric, DM (chest + Resp), International Post graduate; Pediatric Certification, Consultant, Sunrise Hospital and Arihant Hospital, Gurugram) : Delayed vaccination is never an ideal Situation! Any delay beyond 28 days of the prescribed age is called delayed vaccination. The right age for vaccination is calculated based on when the feto-maternal immunity winds off and the child becomes liable to catch an infection. The leading causes of mortality in India are Vaccine-Preventable Disease (VPV), like Diarrhea, Pneumonia, Measles, Diphtheria, Haemophilus Influenza, and Japanese encephalitis. All these can be prevented by vaccination at the right age. Even if the disease occurs after vaccination, it will not become severe. By delaying and spacing out your childs vaccine, you’ll be increasing your visits to the health care providers which increases your child’s anxiety and needle fear. So, stitch in time saves nine.
Dr Mohamed Sajjid (MBBS, MD (Pediatrics), DM (Neonatology); Pediatrician and Neonatologist – M S Child Care Clinic, Chennai): Vaccines are a boon to the babies. They mimic natural infection and hence prevent or mitigate the sufferings due to actual infection. The diseases controlled by vaccines are also called as vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs). The modern vaccines are painless and have minimal or no side effects at all. It is the birthright of all the children to get vaccinated, boosting up the immunity. Vaccine delays can be catastrophic and lead to the vaccine preventable diseases becoming quite severe resulting in very serious consequences. It is absolutely prudent of the parents to vaccinate their babies on time as per the schedule. Remember the adage, ‘a stitch in time saves nine. I urge all the parents to vaccinate their babies on time and let their babies get the immense benefits. Healthy babies contribute to a healthy nation. Happy vaccinating your babies!
Dr Srikanth Darisetty (MD (Pediatrics), PGPN (USA), Senior Consultant Pediatrics – Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad): Vaccines help prevent infectious diseases that once killed or seriously harmed many children. Without vaccines, your children are at risk of contracting a serious illness, including measles, mumps, whooping cough, and flu, which could result in disability or even death. The CDC schedule of vaccines is carefully timed to protect children when they are most vulnerable to diseases and when the vaccines will produce the strongest response from the childs immune system. It is, therefore, crucial to follow the schedule as closely as possible.
Dr Nitin Miyar Nayak (MBBS, DCH, DNB Pediatrics, FPN; Consultant Pediatric Nephrologist -NU Hospitals, Bangalore): Diarrhea is the fourth leading cause of death among children below the age of five, responsible for nearly 500,000 deaths annually. Rotavirus infection accounts for 29.3% of all diarrheal deaths in children under the age of five. The WHO estimates that rotavirus diarrhea results in half a million deaths and 2.4 million hospitalizations in developing countries annually. Improved sanitation and washing hands regularly, along with improvements in nutrition among under-five children, are important in the prevention of rotavirus infections. However, vaccination is the best way to prevent these infections. Most babies who get the rotavirus vaccine will be protected from severe rotavirus diarrhea. The WHO recommended that rotavirus vaccines be included in immunization programs.
Dr Saurabh Piparsania (MBBS, DNB (Pediatrics), MNAMS; Child specialist and Neonatologist Vatsalya Clinic, Indore): Immunization with vaccines has delivered an excellent result in reducing morbidity& mortality from childhood infection in the last 50 years. There has been a substantial reduction in the incidence of many vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunization is a proven tool for controlling & even eradicating the disease. The latest in this is against the covid-19 pandemic. We have seen how effectively the vaccine coverage against covid-19 infection is under control. It is rightly said- Immunization is one of the great triumphs of modern medicine. Its appeal rests in the age-old adage -prevention is better than cure! So I request everyone to kindly vaccinate your children with the available vaccine to build a healthy & disease-free future generation.
Dr Aditi Singh (MBBS, DCH, MRCPCH (UK), Family Physician; Pediatrician and Neonatologist – Apollo Hospital; Founder Nulife Family Clinic, Gurugram): A lot of thought and scientific research goes into making the immunization schedule for our children by the government and health policymakers. A delayed vaccines defined as BCG given after a month of birth, DPT was given after ten weeks, or the measles vaccine due 15 months; the child may get a severe form of this disease, including seizures. We can postpone a vaccine if our child has a fever or the doctor asks us to wait for the shot. We make our children susceptible to these infections by delaying their vaccination. By the age of two years, a child gets immunity for as many as 15 diseases if we follow the schedule given in only nine visits by using combination vaccines. So think about it next time you want to miss or delay a vaccine dose for your child.
Dr Santanu Sen (FRCPCH, FRCP (Lon & Edin), CCT (UK), Senior Consultant; Pediatric Oncology & BMT -Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai): The bodys immune system is not fully-developed at birth which can put the child at a greater risk for infection. Vaccines reduce the babys risk of infection by working with the bodys natural defenses to help safely develop protection against disease. Without vaccines, the child is at risk for serious illness or even death from disease like measles and whooping cough. Sometimes, parents are worried about vaccine safety. Before a new vaccine is even given to people, they are extensively tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for children. It can sometimes take years of testing before a vaccine is approved. Remember, Prevention is better than a cure. They are highly effective, safe, and an easy way to help keep your family healthy.
Dr. Saheli Dasgupta (MBBS, MD (Pediatrics), FIAP (Pediatrics Critical Care), MIAP, MPICC; Consultant Pediatrician Amri Hospitals, Pediatric ICU In-Charge RKM Matribhavan Hospital, Kolkata): Prevention is better than cure it’s an adage that holds for so many things especially when it’s a matter of our child’s good health and safety. When a baby is born in this world his immunity is fragile. Vaccines help in boosting immunity against deadly diseases like measles, tetanus, Diptheria, whooping cough, diarrhea, and pneumonia. Globally nearly 30 percent of under-five deaths are due to vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines not only boost immunity, but it also prevents the spread of disease in the community. Children vaccinated just before exposure to deadly diseases may not develop antibodies as the vaccine takes time in building immunity. So vaccination at right time can help in producing antibodies that provide stronger immunity.
So timely vaccinate your child.