Why start a vaccination as an infant? Vaccination starts early, because the infant’s immune system is not yet capable of independently fighting viruses.
So, whooping cough in 25% of children younger than 6 months is complicated by pneumonia, in 20% – by false croup. It is clear that the sooner vaccinations against these diseases are given, the better. For similar reasons, the vaccine against pertussis is included in DTP, which is administered in 3 stages (at 2, 4 and a half and 6 months).
It is also important that resistance (resistance) to some diseases is not immediately developed. For the prevention of many diseases (diphtheria, tetanus, etc.), not one vaccination is required, but a course of several procedures.
In addition, recent studies have shown that babies tolerate vaccines more easily. Even in premature babies born before the 32nd week of pregnancy, they cause less complications than in children over 10 years old, who are confronted with hormonal changes in the body.
Doesn’t breast milk protect against infections? The child’s immune system copes with hundreds of pathogenic flora by using special substances found in breast milk. It even contains antibodies to infections that mother had had.
It is this protection (immunologists call it “nesting”) that provides support to the growing organism. In the first months, it is most effective, but later weakens, and with the child’s transition to normal nutrition, it disappears altogether: the “mother’s” antigens are quickly processed and brought out. They must be replaced by the “helpers” who were independently developed by the child’s immune system.
And in many respects just vaccination contributes to the formation of its own protective forces.
What is included in vaccines? Vaccines are live and inactivated.
In the first case, the preparation consists of live, but weakened in a special way, viruses, and in the second – only those killed. Our immune system reacts to both, because the introduced strains are foreign antigen – a substance that it considers potentially dangerous. To get the raw materials, the virus is sown on a nutrient medium.
For example, the key ingredients for a flu vaccine “ripen” in chicken or quail eggs, and measles strains are grown on calf blood serum. However, there are additional components in vaccines. Thus, the composition of the previous generation of drugs included up to 3 thousand foreign substances.
Modern versions are cleared better – they contain no more than 150 impurities. Supplements are designed to reduce viruses (formaldehyde), enhance the immune response (aluminum hydroxide) and extend the shelf life of the vaccine itself (phenol). Chemicals are represented by minimal doses, and yet it is they who most often provoke complications after an injection.
For example, a few years ago, American doctors suggested that the growth of autism in children over 3 years of age causes drugs containing thiomersal, a preservative that contains mercury. After an independent study by WHO and the European Organization for Drugs (EMEA), the link was not established, but despite this, all pharmaceutical companies refused to use the suspicious component.
How long does the effect of drugs last? All vaccines have a different duration: minimum – 1 year, maximum – until the end of life. The first category, for example, includes all flu, meningococcal, and tick-borne encephalitis drugs.
Hepatitis B vaccine is effective for 5 years, the BCG vaccine is 7–8 years old, and DTP is 10. The “live” polio vaccine guarantees safety for 5 years, inactivated – by 10. The vaccine against measles and mumps lasts for 12 years. And to permanently get rid of hepatitis A and human papillomavirus, just one vaccination is enough.
It is curious that sometimes the disease itself gives a less stable immunity. So, unvaccinated people, having transferred measles or parotitis, can re-become infected with these diseases after 5 years.
Do vaccinations give one hundred percent protection? The purpose of vaccination is to increase the body’s resistance to carriers of dangerous diseases. The causative agents of the disease, trapped in the body with a vaccine, provoke the production of antibodies that enhance the defense.
In 10–15% of cases, there are few helpers and the risk remains. But even then the vaccine can not be considered useless.
If infection occurs, the disease will be in a lightweight form and will not give complications.
Why do complications arise? Doctors call the complications “post-vaccination syndrome” and divide its manifestations into local and general. In the first case we are talking about redness, pain and compaction at the site of the injection, in the second case – fever and malaise.
Post-vaccination syndrome occurs if the baby’s immune system is weakened or is busy fighting another ailment (chronic infection, allergies). Nevertheless, it is considered the natural response of the organism to the introduction of a foreign antigen. But the adverse reactions are not related to complications, because they are the symptoms characteristic of the disease itself.
For example, a measles drug in 5% of babies can cause a rash. However, adverse reactions specifically to the vaccine – a rare phenomenon.
So, in Germany in 2009, one and a half thousand various complications after vaccinations were registered, and only 5 of them were to blame for the drugs themselves.
The Russian vaccination calendar is the most saturated in the world: it includes injections against 15 viral infections. In most European countries (Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, Sweden) this list is shorter – it includes no more than 7 diseases (most often hemophilic disease, hepatitis B, diphtheria, whooping cough, parotitis, polio and tetanus).
French doctors have added a meningococcal infection to this list. But Italian doctors have reduced the number of immunoprophylactic procedures to 4 positions and are advised to be vaccinated against diphtheria, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis and tetanus.
Why be vaccinated for diseases that children usually tolerate easily, for example against measles, mumps or rubella? Some infections are characterized by minimal manifestations: low temperature, runny nose, slight skin rash, weakness. Even the most dangerous scarlet fever often presents itself with a slight sore throat and reddening of the skin in the area of the nasolabial triangle and upper abdomen.
But sometimes more serious symptoms appear. So, when measles in 1 child out of 10 thousand, the temperature rises above 39 ° С, which causes severe spasms and convulsions. It is impossible to guess which share such a test will fall on.
Do not forget about some of the complications that can occur, even if the disease is mild. For example, the measles virus under adverse circumstances can provoke inflammation of the brain.
Epidemic parotitis, which causes minimal discomfort to boys, often results in inflammation of the testicles, which will be felt already in the childbearing age. And rubella is dangerous not only for unvaccinated pregnant women: in 10% of children (both girls and boys) this seemingly harmless disease is complicated by bilateral pneumonia and meningitis.
Why are future parents at the planning stage of pregnancy recommended to be vaccinated against whooping cough and measles? These diseases were formerly considered “childhood”, but as a result of the mutation, the viruses “matured” and today also pose a danger to parents.
The pertussis vaccine is administered to babies in 3 doses (at 2, 4 and a half and 6 months), and it is vaccinated against measles per year. In order to prevent babies from encountering viruses before the body is ready to resist them effectively, adults from near surroundings should be safe and make themselves similar vaccinations.
What new vaccinations have appeared recently? Since 2011, vaccination against human papillomavirus has appeared in the Russian immunization schedule for girls from the age of 12.
In adulthood, this vaccine is designed to protect them against cancer of the cervix, vagina and vulva. Since 2012, the list included injections from pneumococcal infection (to combat a whole group of dangerous diseases: meningitis, sepsis, pneumonia, and otitis media) and chickenpox.
Soon, rotovirus vaccination, the causative agent of severe gastroenteritis, should appear and infants develop severe dehydration. It is made to kids from the 6th week of life.
Why do most doctors actively advocate for vaccination? The benefits of vaccination are hard to deny. It was she who helped to curb the causative agents of the most dangerous ailments – diphtheria, smallpox, polio, etc.
But we must remember that control can not be weakened. If you now refuse to immunize children, the epidemic will flare up with a new force.
Nevertheless, this is not a reason to appeal for universal and universal vaccination. Ideally, each child needs an individual approach.
It is better that the appropriateness of any vaccinations be evaluated by a pediatrician based on preliminary tests and examinations.
Is vaccination mandatory in all developed countries? Each country has its own rules. For example, in France, only threefold DTP vaccination is mandatory, and in Germany, vaccination is carried out exclusively on the initiative of patients.
Strict adherence to the vaccination calendar has been canceled in our country. On September 17, 1998, the Federal Law of the Russian Federation “On Immunoprophylaxis of Infectious Diseases” was passed, declaring the vaccination of babies voluntary. A year later, a decree appeared from the chief sanitary doctor of Moscow, according to which the child’s nursery, kindergartens and schools of the child should be accepted even without a mark about vaccinations in the medical record.
No one has canceled these documents, so in case of refusal you can defend your rights.
Approved by Order No. 51 of the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation of January 31, 2011
- Newborns (in the first 24 hours of life) Hepatitis B (first vaccination)
- 3–7 days Tuberculosis (first vaccination)
- 1 month Hepatitis B (second vaccination of children at risk)
- 2 months Hepatitis B (third vaccination of children at risk)
- 3 months Hepatitis B (second vaccination; Diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, hemophilus infection type b (first vaccination)
- 4.5 months Diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, hemophilus infection type b (second vaccination)
- 6 months Hepatitis B (third vaccination); Diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, hemophilus infection type b (third vaccination)
- 12 months Hepatitis B (fourth vaccination, children from risk groups); Measles, rubella, parotitis (first vaccination)
- 1 year 6 months Diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, hemophilus infection type b (first revaccination)
- 1 year, 8 months Poliomyelitis (second revaccination)
- 2 years Pneumococcal infection, chicken pox (first vaccination)
- 3 years Viral Hepatitis A (vaccination)
- 3 years 6 months Viral hepatitis A (revaccination)
- 6 years Measles, rubella, parotitis (revaccination)
- 7 years Diphtheria, tetanus (second revaccination); Tuberculosis (revaccination)
- 12–13 years old Human papillomavirus (girls) (vaccination)
- 14 years old Diphtheria, tetanus (third revaccination); Tuberculosis (revaccination); Poliomyelitis (third revaccination)