Your child is your flesh and blood. You would obviously be devastated if anything were to happen to him/her especially if it was due to something you could have helped prevent. A big part of this is getting your child vaccinated against diseases that could cause illness, permanent disability, or death.
There are many vaccines that your child needs after age 1 such as smallpox, hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and tetanus every 10 years. However, the time before age 1 is more fragile and your child’s immune system is more susceptible to threats, so a visit to an immunization clinic is crucial.
Below are 5 immunizations that your child absolutely must have before their 1st birthday.
DTaP-IPV-Hib is a combination vaccine that protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and polio. This vaccine is particularly crucial because all of these illnesses seriously threaten the overall health and wellbeing of your child.
Diphtheria affects a person’s skin, throat, and nose. Early symptoms include chills, fever, and sore throat but can quickly turn into nerve complications, heart failure, and breathing problems. It can be contagious through coughing and sneezing and 10 percent of people who get it will die. Tetanus occurs when a germ infiltrates a cut on the skin, resulting in lockjaw, cramping in muscles, and convulsions. 20 percent of people who get tetanus die.
Pertussis is also called whooping cough. It is characterized by vomiting and coughing fits that causes troubles breathing. This illness can lead to pneumonia and can also cause seizures and brain damage and is contagious. Polio is spread through food or water with a specific germ in it. People who get polio experience nerve damage and permanent paralysis. It is contagious and can be fatal.
2. Pneumococcal conjugate (Pneu-C-13)
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects children less than one years of age from infections such as meningitis, bacteraemia (blood infections), and pneumonia.
Meningitis affects the membranes around the brain and spinal cord and is characterized in non-fatal cases by fever, headache, stiff neck, light sensitivity, confusion, and nausea. Fatal cases are disturbing because death can occur within a few hours.
Pneumonia is a lung infection characterized by breathing difficulties and coughing. It can be fatal as well. It is estimated that 500,000 children die due to pneumococcal-related illnesses per year including those less than one years of age. Therefore, this vaccine is crucial for your child.
The Rotavirus vaccine will protect your child against complications relating to the rotavirus that can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
The rotavirus is quite common and easily spreads among children who can even pass it on to adults. While not fatal, the gastroenteritis experienced can lead to prolonged hospitalization among children.
4. Meningococcal conjugate (Men-C-C)
The meningococcal conjugate vaccine is important for children under one because it protects against meningococcal disease. This is caused by bacteria and is highly contagious through contact such as coughing or kissing.
Symptoms are the same as the meningitis ones listed or the strain can cause meningococcal septicemia, an infection of the blood. Both can be fatal.
5. Measles, mumps, rubella
The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine is another important one for children under one years of age because, descriptive of its name, it protects against 3 diseases.
Measles causes a fever, runny nose, cough, and a serious rash. In extreme cases it can cause pneumonia or encephalitis which is an infection in the brain. Mumps is an infection that is characterized by headache, fever, and swelling in the cheeks and neck area. Rubella, also known as German measles, have the same symptoms as regular measles but lasts for up to 3 days and is considered more mild. All 3 of these illnesses are contagious.