Vaccines-Most Important Ones For Children.
Vaccines are given to children or adults to protect them against many dangerous diseases. If health workers do not vaccinate in your village or area, make sure that you take your children to the nearest health center or hospital to be vaccinated.
It is better to take them for vaccination while they are healthy, than to take them for treatment when they are sick or even dying. Vaccinations are usually given free.
Some of these vaccines are given orally, nasally or by injection.
THE MOST IMPORTANT VACCINES FOR CHILDREN ARE :
- D.P.T for diphtheria, whooping cough(pertussis) and tetanus : For full protection, the child needs three injections. These are usually given at 3 months, 4 months and 5 months of age. Different countries use different schedules.
- POLIO (infantile paralysis) : The child needs drops in the mouth once each month for 3 months. These are usually given with the D.P.T injections. It is best not to breast feed the baby for 2 hours before or after giving the drops. For polio vaccine, the drop taste sweet.
- B.C.G for tuberculosis : A single injection is given into the skin of the right shoulder. In some places, the left forearm is used, halfway between the palm and the elbow. Children can be vaccinated at birth or anytime afterwards. Early vaccination is especially important if any member of the household has tuberculosis. The vaccine makes a sore and leaves a scar.
- MEASLES : One injection only is given and it is not given to children younger than 9 to 15 months of age, depending on the country.
- TETANUS : For adults and children over 12 years old, the most important vaccine is for tetanus lockjaw. One injection every month for three months, another after a year and then one every 10 months. Everyone should be vaccinated against tetanus; especially pregnant women so that their babies will be protected against tetanus of the newborn.
In some places, there are also vaccinations for cholera, yellow fever, typhus, mumps and German measles. The world health organization is also working to develop vaccines for leprosy and malaria. Thanks to world wide vaccination in the past, small pox no longer exists. So vaccination against it is now not ended.
WARNING : Vaccines spoil easily and then do not work. Measles and polio must be kept frozen. Good D.P.T and B.C.G must be kept cold (4 degrees to 8 degrees C) but never totally frozen. Good D.P.T remains cloudy at least one hour after shaking. If it becomes clear within one hour, it is spoiled.
NOTE : Vaccinate your children on time. Be sure that they get the complete series of each vaccine they need.