Vaccination is an effective way of global prevention of infectious diseases.
Vaccination has been helping us to protect the lives and health of children for more than 200 years. According to the WHO, 2 to 3 million children's lives can be saved each year by vaccinations. Children can walk, play, dance, and study due to immunization efforts around the world.
Vaccines contain attenuated or inactive particles of a certain microorganism (antigen) that cause an immune response throughout the body. As a result, the immune system produces protective antibodies, just as it does when we get diseases. However, because vaccines contain only killed or weakened forms of microbes, such as viruses or bacteria, they do not cause disease or risks of its complications. These antibodies help for child's organism to fight infections successfully.
Indications for vaccination
Vaccination is recommended for all children who have no contraindications. Most vaccines are given routinely according to the national vaccination calendar.
There is also a number of situations when emergency vaccination is indicated, for example, if the child has been in contact with a patient and his diagnosis has been confirmed.
There are several types of vaccines, depending on the mechanism of their manufacturing:
- Live vaccines: contain a weakened live microorganism;
- Inactivated vaccines: made from killed pathogens;
- Anatoxins: produced from specially treated toxins produced by pathogenic microorganisms;
- Genetically engineered biosynthetic vaccines.
All vaccinations for children are carried out only with vaccines that are officially recommended by the WHO and registered in Ukraine.
National vaccination calendar
Currently, the Ukrainian national vaccination calendar includes vaccination against 10 infectious diseases: tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, hepatitis B, hemophiliac infection, rubella, mumps.
When and from what to be vaccinated?
- Hepatitis B: during the first day of life, at 2 and 6 months.
- Tuberculosis: 3-5 days of life.
- Measles, mumps, rubella (as part of the combination vaccine): at 12 months and 6 years.
- Diphtheria, tetanus (as part of the combination vaccine): at 2, 4, 6, 18 months, 6, and 16 years.
- Whooping cough (as part of a combination vaccine): at 2, 4, 6, 18 months.
- Polio: inactivated vaccine (IPV) - at 2 and 4 months, oral polio vaccine (OPV) - at 6 and 18 months, and 6 and 14 years.
- Hib infection: at 2, 4, and 12 months.
Possible variants and names of vaccines:
- Measles, rubella, mumps – Priorix
- Pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, hemophilia, polio - Infanrix Hexa
- Pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, hemophilia, polio – Pentaxim
- Pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, polio - Infanrix IPV, Tetraxim
- Pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus - Bustrix, Infanrix
Combinations of several vaccines per one visit are possible in order to save time and reduce stress for the child. Ask your physician about possible combinations for your child.
Contraindications to vaccination
Vaccination is very important to protect children's health. In fact, there are not a lot of conditions when vaccinations are prohibited. Before the immunization, your physician must examine the child and assess his general health.
Absolute contraindications for vaccinations include:
- history of anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of vaccine;
- severe immunosuppression / immunodeficiency - live vaccines are contraindicated;
- acute diseases with a fever above 38.0 ° C - contraindications for routine vaccination;
- pregnancy - the introduction of live vaccines is contraindicated.
Additional recommended vaccinations
There is a list of recommended vaccinations that are widely used to immunize children around the world in addition to protecting your child against infections, these vaccines are included in the National Vaccination Calendar of Ukraine.
The included vaccines are against:
- rotavirus infection (Rotarix vaccine)
- chickenpox (Varilrix)
- pneumococcal infection (Prevenar 13 and Synflorix)
- hepatitis A (Havrix or Twinrix)
- meningococcal infection (Menaktra)
- influenza (Vaksigrip, Vaksigrip Tetra, GC Flu)
- papillomavirus infection (Cervarix)
These vaccines are highly recommended because the infections they protect against are quite common in the children population. This is especially important for children with chronic diseases.
What to look for after vaccination?
Occasionally, after vaccinations, there may be temporary discomfort, redness, local fever, and slight pain at the injection site. For this reason, the child may be nervous and cry. So, after vaccination, they may be needs more attention. Sometimes, a child's body temperature also may rise after vaccination. These are all normal reactions of the child's body and immune system after vaccination.