Why do babies need to be vaccinated?
This question will clear up by itself, if you look closely at the calendar of mandatory vaccinations. In this long list – the names of diseases that can lead (and more recently and led) to the most serious consequences.
And no matter how hard the parents try to protect the baby from possible misfortunes, without a vaccination, the risk that a baby can catch a dangerous infection always remains. And if you consider how weak and vulnerable very young children are, it will become clear that they need reliable protection.
How do vaccines work?
When an infection (viruses, bacteria, toxins) enters the human body, our immune system tries to recognize the “alien” and produces special substances – antibodies that will protect the body when we meet a new enemy. Conclusion: you need to arrange a meeting of the immune system with a possible “foe” so that it reacts to it by launching the production of antibodies.
Only this should be done so that the infection could not harm the body. To do this, the pathogens are attenuated, receiving so-called live vaccines (for example, against tuberculosis), killing (inactivated vaccines, for example, against influenza), or using only their particle (for one of these “artificial” vaccines, a piece of the virus was engineered using genetic engineering). flu).
Can vaccinations cause complications in a baby?
Children are well tolerated by modern drugs, and they very rarely cause problems. Most of the vaccines we know from childhood have now become softer – they have been spared from components that can cause undesirable reactions.
A rise in temperature and small rashes (such may appear after measles and rubella vaccination) or a slight swelling after mumps vaccination is a normal reaction of the baby’s organism to the invasion of hostile microbes.
Are there any contraindications against vaccinations?
Of course, there are serious diseases in which the baby cannot be vaccinated at all, but there are very few of them. More often there are situations when doctors advise parents not to refuse vaccination at all, but simply to postpone it for some time: for example, if the baby has a cold or worsening allergies. By the way, this is why, before sending a child for vaccination, the doctor carefully examines it and only after that decides whether it is worth administering the vaccine and which drug is best to use.
For example, live vaccines with a weakened pathogen (for measles, mumps, rubella, polio) are usually not prescribed if the child is sick. In this case, the doctor will prescribe a “killed” or artificial vaccine.
BCG This vaccine is very important for babies, because tuberculosis still poses a danger to both young and old. For the first time it is made to children still in the hospital, and then before going to school. Before repeating the vaccination, the doctor should check whether the child has developed immunity against the disease.
For this, he will assign a skin test to him – the Mantoux reaction. Under the skin, a drug is injected that contains some tuberculin, a component of the microbe.
After that a swelling appears on the skin – a “button”; after 48–72 hours, doctors will measure it and determine if the child has immunity against tuberculosis.
Hemophilic bacillus With the advent of a new vaccine against hemophilic infection that causes meningitis, this disease is less common. Babies are vaccinated against it from 2 months.
In Russia, this vaccination calendar is not provided, but recommended by the Ministry of Health and Social Development, and parents can, if desired, make it to your baby at their own expense.
Hepatitis A In our country, this vaccine is given to babies if necessary, for example, if you go on a trip.
Hepatitis B Like its aforementioned “relative”, the hepatitis B virus acts on the liver, causing inflammation in the cells. This infection can cause unpleasant complications (for example, chronic hepatitis), and therefore all children are vaccinated against it on the first day of life, and then at the age of 1 and 6 months.
Influenza Infants are vaccinated against influenza with inactivated vaccines from the age of 6 months.
Diphtheria Diphtheria outbreaks are still occurring, so babies continue to be vaccinated against this disease at the age of 3, 4, 5 and 18 months.
Whooping cough This vaccination is done to babies from 3 months, and then repeated at 4 and 5 months. To do this, use the combined drug, which, in addition to whooping cough, includes a vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and polio.
Measles The baby will be given a vaccine for this disease (usually with the mumps and rubella vaccine) at the age of 12-15 months (and sometimes earlier, from 9 months if the child spends a lot of time with other children).
Rubella For children, this disease is not dangerous; the problem is that they can collide with it when they grow up (rubella is especially dangerous for women “in position” – more precisely, their future babies). Rubella vaccine is administered with the anti-measles and mumps drug from 1 year onwards.
Meningococcus There are vaccines against two types of microbe – A and C. These vaccinations are done if necessary, for example, if in a kindergarten where a baby goes, someone gets sick.
Mumps (mumps) Once the number of children with mumps was estimated to be several thousand a year. Now you can protect against it with the help of the vaccine – it is administered to babies along with a measles and rubella vaccine from the age of 1 year.
Poliomyelitis This disease is caused by a virus that infects the nervous system. Although polio has become a rarity, it is still found in some areas.
The tetanus The vaccination series, which starts at 3 months, reliably protects children from this dangerous disease, which is not the case with adults, because many of us miss the vaccination provided after 18 years.
The modern vaccine schedule has become much wider than before, but due to the fact that doctors combine several vaccines together, the baby will not often have to be taken to the clinic. Most vaccinations occur in the first 2 years of a baby’s life, and then some of them will have to be repeated only at 6 years.