Your Tots Need More Shots

Your Tots Need More Shots
After 1 year of age, your child still needs vaccination.

Babies are born with protection against certain diseases because antibodies from the mother were passed to them through the placenta. After birth, breastfed babies get the continued benefits of additional antibodies in breast milk. But in both cases, the protection is temporary.

Immunization (vaccination) is a way of creating immunity to certain diseases by using small amounts of a killed or weakened microorganism that causes the particular disease.

Some parents may hesitate to have their kids vaccinated because they’re worried that the children will have serious reactions or may get the illness the vaccine is supposed to prevent. Because the components of vaccines are weakened or killed – and in some cases, only parts of the microorganism are used – they’re unlikely to cause any serious illness. Some vaccines may cause mild reactions, such as soreness where the shot was given or fever, but serious reactions are rare.

The risks of vaccinations are small compared with the health risks associated with the diseases they’re intended to prevent. Vaccination is the best way to protect your child against dangerous diseases.

Several vaccines are now available to protect against mumps, measles and rubella (MMR), varicella (chickenpox), hepatitis A, typhoid fever and pneumococcal diseases. Quadrivalent conjugate meningococcal vaccine is also available to protect children from the fatal and devastating Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD).

Your doctor will determine the best vaccinations and schedule for your child.

CHICKENPOX (VARICELLA)

Chickenpox (also called varicella) is a common childhood disease. It is usually mild, but it can be serious, especially in young infants and adults.

Source and Transmission:

The chickenpox virus can be spread from person to person through the air, or by contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters.

Signs and Symptoms:

Chickenpox causes:

  • Rash, itching, fever, and tiredness.
  • It can lead to sever skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, or death.

Complications:

  • It can lead to sever skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, or death.
  • A person who had chickenpox can get a painful rash called shingles years later.

Prevention:

Children who have never had chickenpox should get 2 doses of chickenpox vaccine at these ages:

  • 1st Dose: 12 to 15 months of age
  • 2nd Dose: 4 to 6 years of age

People 13 years of age and older (who have never had chickenpox or received chickenpox vaccine) should get two (2) doses at least 28 days apart.

MUMPS, MEASLES AND RUBELLA

Measles, mumps and rubella are serious diseases caused by measles, mumps and rubella virus.

Source and Transmission:

You or your child could catch these diseases by being around someone who has them. They spread from person to person through the air.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Measles virus causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever.
  • Mumps virus causes fever, headache, and swollen glands.
  • Rubella virus causes rash, mild fever, and arthritis.

Complications:

  • Measles can lead to ear infection, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death.
  • Mumps can lead to deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and, rarely, death.
  • If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects.

Prevention:

Children should get two (2) doses of MMR vaccine:

  • The first dose at 12 to 15 months of age.
  • The second dose at 4 to 6 years of age.

These are the recommended ages. But children can get the second dose at any age, as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose. Some adults should also get MMR vaccine.

HEPATITIS A

Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV).

Source and Transmission:

HAV is found in the stool of people with Hepatitis A. It is usually spread by close personal contact and sometimes by eating food or drinking water containing HAV.

Signs and Symptoms:

Hepatitis A can cause:

  • Mild “flu-like” illness
  • Jaundice (yellowskin or eyes)
  • Severe stomach pains and diarrhea

Complications:

  • People with Hepatitis A often have to be hospitalized (up to about 1 person in 5).
  • Sometime, people die as a result of Hepatitis A (about 3 to 5 deaths per 1,000 cases).
  • A person who has Hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others within the same household.

Prevention:

Some people should be routinely vaccinated with Hepatitis A vaccine:

  • All children 1 year (12 through 23 months) of age.
  • Persons 1 year of age and older traveling to or working in countries with high or intermediate prevalence of Hepatitis A.

TYPHOID FEVER

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. It is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 21.5 million persons each year.

Source and Transmission:

You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding Salmonella Typhi or if sewage contaminated with Salmonella Typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food.

Signs and Symptoms:

Persons with typhoid fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 103 °F to 104 °F (39 °C to 40 °C). They may also feel weak, or have stomach pains, headache, or loss of appetite. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots.

Complications:

The serious complications of typhoid fever generally occur after 2 to 3 weeks of illness and may include intestinal hemorrhage or perforation, which can be life threatening.

Prevention:

Typhoid fever vaccines are available which can be given from 2 years of age, then revaccination 3 to 5 years later.

INVASIVE MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE (IMD)

Meningococcal infection is caused by a bacterium known as “meningococcus”. Many people (approximately 10% of the population) carry meningococci bacteria at the back of the throat or nose without any ill effects. In rare instances, meningococci overcome the body’s natural defenses and cause serious diseases, including meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain) and meningcoccemia, a widespread infection involving the blood and multiple organs. Meningococcemia, a relatively uncommon infection, occurs most commonly in children and young adults. In susceptible people, it may cause a severe illness that can produce death within hours.

Source and Transmission:

The infection is spread from one person to another through a transfer of secretions from the throat or nose during close contact. Kissing, sharing eating utensils, drinking glasses, water bottles, cigarettes or shring of lipstick can spread the disease.

Signs and Symptoms:

There may be no specific signs or symptoms for IMD. Meningitis symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, vomiting and drowsiness. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dislike of bright lights (photophobia), confusion, drowsiness or a small purplish skin rash.

Complications:

Meningococcal disease is serious and sometimes fatal. In cases of meningococcemia, The death rate is 40%; that equals to 8 in 20 people. The rate of major amputation or loss of fingers / toes is about 20%; that is approximately 4 out of 20 people. These are the rates for those who receive treatment in time.

Prevention:

Quadrivalent Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MCV 4) is recommended as:

  • 2 doses, 1 month apart for 9 to 23 months
  • single dose for 2 to 55 years of age

Sometimes a second dose is recommended for people who remain at high risk. Ask your medical provider.

RELATED POSTS


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *