Vaccines For Children

vaccines-for-childrenThe children come into the world with a natural immunity that protects them against certain infections. The antibodies pass the placenta from mother to fetus before birth and protect the newborn against infection. The breast-fed babies continue to receive antibodies through breast milk. This natural immunity will disappear gradually, usually over the course of the first year.

Many childhood serious diseases reached levels of epidemic and caused thousands of deaths, in addition these diseases severely make disabled children as mentally or physically. Vaccines have been developed which provide effective protection against for many of these diseases. Vaccines work by exposing the body to modified versions of viruses and bacteria. They do not cause disease but body produces any antibodies to fight them. These antibodies remain in the body to identify and fight virus or bacteria in the future. Immunization often provides a lifelong protection against diseases once common.


Vaccines For Specific Diseases

There are vaccines for a number of diseases, including :

  • Varicella
  • Diphtheria
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles
  • Meningitis
  • Mumps
  • Pneumonia
  • Polio
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus
  • Whooping cough
  • Diarrhea caused by the rotavirus
  • Influenza caused by viruses types A and B.

There are other vaccines for diseases that are less common. As a general rule, they are administered to adults rather than children and are mostly associated with travel in less developed regions of the world.

Chickenpox is a childhood illness that was very common and the cause is a virus called varicella-zoster. It is a highly contagious disease that is transmitted in the air or physical contact with a person in whom the lesions are open. Chickenpox is rarely a serious illness; however, a child with chickenpox can be sick for 7 to 10 days and at least one adult must be absent from work to care for the child.

Diphtheria is caused by a strain of toxic bacteria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae) that infects the throat, mouth and nose, and that is rather contagious. It causes a sore throat, mild fever and chills that may be followed by the appearance of a greyish white membrane that stretches from one side to the other of the throat which makes breathing and swallowing difficult. If treatment is not started quickly enough, there will be production of a toxin that spreads in the body and poisons the heart muscle and sometimes the nerves. Temporary paralysis or heart failure may be seen as result. Diphtheria kills about 10 % of the people it touches. A very small number of cases of diphtheria (2 to 5 per year) is reported in Canada.

Haemophilus influenzae type b is a source of serious illnesses, especially in children under 5 years of age. It can cause pneumonia or infections of the blood, joints, bones, soft tissues, throat and covering of the heart. It can also cause meningitis (inflammation of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord). Children who have meningitis will die (1 in 20) or suffer permanent damage to the brain (1 in 10).

The hepatitis B virus is transmitted through contaminated blood (most commonly by the taking of drugs by the intravenous route) and through sexual contact; it can also be spread from mother to child during childbirth. It can cause inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), destruction of the normal tissues of the liver (cirrhosis) or liver cancer.

The hepatitis A virus causes inflammation of the liver and jaundice (skin and whites of the eyes yellowish); Although most of those infected are sick for 10 to 14 days, the infection rarely causes serious lesions of the liver. The virus is mainly spread through the ingestion of food or with contaminated water.

Measles, mumps and rubella are all caused by viruses and are very contagious. Measles lasts for 1 to 2 weeks and is accompanied by high fever, rash, cough, runny nose and watery eyes. About 10% of children may complain also a lot of from their ears and about 5 % will get pneumonia. 1 child in 1,000 who have measles may also experience an inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) which causes seizures, deafness or brain damage. The disease is fatal in 1 in 1,000 cases. Pregnant women who have measles are at risk of giving birth before the expected time or even lose their fetus (miscarriage).

Meningitis is a rare but serious illness associated with inflammation of the membrane covering in brain and spinal cord. It begins with a sudden fever, a severe headache, neck stiffness, nausea , vomiting and sensitivity to light. The mortality rate of bacterial meningitis is 10 % to 20 % and among those who recover sometimes have permanent brain damage. Bacterial meningitis is most often caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae or Neigesseria meningitidis.Both of these bacteria can also be the cause of other serious infections of the blood, lungs and joints. A lot of ear infections are occured due to Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Mumps is accompanied by fever, headache and inflammation of the salivary glands. For 1 in 10 children with mumps is complicated by meningitis (inflammation of the outside lining of the brain and spinal cord) and sometimes encephalitis (inflammation of the tissue of the brain). It can result in deafness but rarely permanent damage.

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be caused by a bacteria, virus or fungus. It can affect adults as well as children. Pneumonia may complicate other infections such as the flu, whooping cough, measles or chickenpox. Its symptoms can bring an infected person to cough up mucus, having difficulty breathing, to feel the pain in the chest, fever and chills. Severe cases of pneumonia may require hospitalization. A pneumonia is caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. It is possible to prevent some cases of pneumonia as a result of some vaccines like the pneumococcal vaccine, the vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae type b (HIB) vaccine or the influenza vaccine.

Polio is caused by a virus that lives in the nose, throat and intestines of infected persons. The virus is contagious even when the carrier has no symptoms. The mild form of the disease usually last for a few days and are accompanied by fever, nausea, headache, throat or stomach and sometimes pain or stiffness of the neck, back, and legs. A more severe form, paralytic polio also causes intense muscle pain. About half of people with polio paralyzing find themselves in the week following the onset of symptoms. Others recover completely or retain only mild physical disabilities.

Rubella is generally benign disease and cause mild fever and rash that lasts only 2 or 3 days. In adults, it can be accompanied by temporary arthritis and swelling of the lymph nodes at the back of the neck. Between 20 % and 25% of women who get rubella early in pregnancy may have a baby with serious birth defects including blindness, damage to the heart and brain, severe arterial damage, deafness and a brain smaller than normal. Rubella can also cause miscarriage in pregnant women.

Tetanus is caused by a bacterium commonly found in soil, manure and in the digestive tract of people and animals. When the bacterium enters through a cut or a deep injury, it becomes more difficult to clean and can multiply and produce a toxin. This toxin poisons the nervous system, causes headache and muscular stiffness in the neck and jaws. As the toxin accumulates, it causes spasms of jaw, neck, limbs, rigidity in the abdominal muscles and convulsions. The symptoms are painful and last for weeks. This condition often requires hospitalization and is associated with a high death rate.

Whooping cough is caused by a bacteria that is highly contagious which infects the mouth, nose and throat. It is characterized by severe coughing which may prevent eating, drinking or breathing normally. Young children, especially infants less than one year are most likely to have whooping cough. The infection is often severe and the child must be hospitalized. Among the possible complications include pneumonia, convulsions and in rare cases, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or even death.

The rotavirus is a common cause of gastroenteritis in children and explains to 10-to-40 % of all cases of gastroenteritis during childhood. Unlike other vaccines that are given by injection, this vaccine against rotavirus is given by mouth. This vaccine does not offer absolute protection but vaccinated children who have infection symptoms a lot lighter.

The influenza virus causes severe illness and pneumonia in all age groups but children and the elderly are the most exposed to a risk of serious complications. The annual vaccination is recommended for anyone over the age of 6 months. A new vaccination is required each year because the influenza virus type A alters its characteristics (mutates) each year.


Immunization Schedule For Children

The vaccines are generally administered as a series of injections which sometimes combine several vaccines at one time. They are given at different stages of the life of the child (usually at the time of routine visits to the doctor or the pediatrician).

The side effects of the vaccine are usually mild and may manifest itself by fever, a little pain at the injection site, fatigue and a skin rash. They go away after a few days. Serious complications are very rare.

In some cases, vaccinations should be delayed or stopped. If your child has severe allergic reactions to a particular vaccine, the rest of the injections should be omitted. If your child has other allergies, ask your doctor if this changes the immunization program. In a child who is ill, or whose immune system is depressed, it may be necessary to delay the normal vaccination program. If an injection is missed, this does not oblige us to repeat the most injections to zero.

The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all children and it tends more and more to the administer shortly after birth. However, in some regions, it is not administered before the entry of the child in his seventh year of school. For newborns, the first injection is given by the doctor or the pediatrician after the baby has left the hospital and usually before the baby reaches 2 months of age. The second injection is given at least one month after the first when the baby is between 1 and 4 months. The third injection is done when baby is between 6 and 18 months. One should always do a test of routine screening for the hepatitis B virus in pregnant women and, when this test is positive, it should be administered to the new-born immune globulin hepatitis B (which helps protect the newborn infant against hepatitis B until the immunizations are beginning to take action). Then, it recommends to the infant three injections of hepatitis B vaccine according to the normal schedule.

The combination vaccine diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) is usually administered to infants at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months. A recall is done when they are between 4 and 6 years old. Another booster for tetanus and diphtheria is performed around the age of 15 years. After that, we proceed to reminders of the vaccine against tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years to maintain protection.

The Hib vaccine (Haemophilus influenzae type b) is typically administered when the infant was 2, 4 and 6 months and then one carries out a booster at around 18 months.

Immunization against polio is obtained by a vaccine, poliovirus inactivated vaccine is administered at 2, 4, 6 and again at 18 months or when the child begins to go to school (between 4 and 6 years). This vaccine is given with the vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. It was previously used commonly for a polio vaccine oral but it was a small risk of causing paralytic polio.

The combination vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is given between 12 and 15 months. A second injection is usually given with the following series of vaccines at 18 months or between the ages of 4 and 6 years old before the child enters school.

The varicella vaccine is administered at 12 months. It is often recommended for older children or adults who have not received and who have not had chickenpox. The vaccine is given in 2 doses. When it comes to infants, the first dose is given when they are between 12 months and 18 months and the second when they are between 4 years and 6 years. When it comes to adolescents aged 13 years and older, 2 doses are inoculated at 4 weeks or 6 weeks apart at least.

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended to protect against pneumococcal infections which are at the origin of a number of diseases including pneumonia and infections of the ears. In infants, it is recommended that four doses of the conjugate vaccine administered at age 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and between 12 and 15 months.

The rotavirus vaccine is given in 2 oral doses to be distinct. The first dose should be given between the ages of 6 and 15 weeks and the second dose should be given before the age of 32 weeks.

With the arrival of the vaccine, men-C conjugate, routine immunization against meningitis caused by the Meningococcus type C is also recommended for all children. The timing of vaccination varies depending on age, risk and geographical region.

It is recommended that the flu vaccine, available in the fall of each year, for children aged 6 to 23 months. Two doses of vaccine 4 weeks apart, are necessary, unless the child has not been immunized the previous year.

Two types of vaccines against the human papilloma virus (HPV) are in some countries. One of them is approved for girls and young women 9 to 45 years of age for boys and young men aged 9 to 26 years of age. This vaccine protects against 2 types of HPV that cause approximately 70 % of all cancers of the cervix, uterus, and against 2 types of HPV that cause approximately 90 % of all genital warts. The other vaccine is recommended for girls and young women aged 10 to 25 years. This vaccine protects against 2 types of HPV that cause approximately 70 % of all cancers of the cervix. The 2 vaccines are given in 3 doses injected over a period of 6 months.

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