Parents nowadays come to me with various questions like – doctor, is this vaccine recommended for my child? Also they will argue that when we were young, there were not so many vaccines, so what is the need now? Well, as medical science has evolved & with new diseases coming in society like dengue, chikungunya, hand foot mouth disease etc., there is a need to control spread of such diseases. Let’s clear your doubts if giving vaccination to your child is a boon or a curse. Also difference between painful/painless vaccine etc
Parents are concerned for their tiny ones & also if vaccines are available to protect against them. Well, right now we don’t have vaccines for such diseases, but they are in the pipeline. Also, parents feel that giving more & more vaccines decreases the child’s immunity. This is not true. Being a parent & a paediatrician, I have given all vaccines to my daughter until now.
Where to give the vaccine?
Parents have this query about where to give the vaccines – in BMC hospitals or in private clinics. There is no harm in giving vaccines in BMC hospitals, but they don’t cover all vaccines as of now like Rotavirus, Pneumococcal, Flu, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, and Chickenpox. If the parents have financial issues, then vaccines can be split i.e. they can give vaccines at BMC hospitals as it’s free of cost & for the remaining vaccines, they can go to their paediatrician. Of course, parents need to keep in mind that BMC hospitals do not have facilities for painless DPT vaccination. So what is this painless DPT vaccination & how different is it from painful DPT vaccine?
Painless vs Painful vaccination
The first question that a parent has while giving vaccine to their children is – Doctor, is this vaccine painless or painful? Painless / painful vaccination only comes in case of giving DPT injection.
So what is the difference between painless / painful vaccine? Painful vaccine contains whole cell components of Pertussis as compared to painless in which cellular antigens are not present.
Quality wise Painful vaccine is definitely better than painless vaccine, but the side effects are more in painful vaccination. Side effects are – pain, fever, swelling at injection site & in very rare cases, child may get convulsion. Children who are given painless vaccination can serve as carriers of Pertussis. Also the immunity of pertussis decreases when a child is given painless vaccine. So sometimes, more doses are to be given.
The pain caused by needle prick is the same in case of painless/ painful vaccination. It’s just that the side effects or after effects are less in case of painless injection.
As a paediatrician, I always recommend giving painful vaccination to children as compared to painless vaccine. You can opt for painless injections while giving boosters to your child. I have given my daughter painful vaccine knowing very well that she might get mild fever or pain after the vaccination.
In very rare circumstances, I recommend giving painless vaccination such as if the child had severe allergic reaction while giving painful vaccine or the side effects we’re too much.
Also, if as a parent you opt for giving vaccination to your child in BMC hospitals, then only painful vaccines are available.
MR vaccine campaign
The government of India has taken this initiative to vaccinate all children with MR (measles rubella) vaccine. Measles is a potentially a life threatening disease which can be easily prevented by giving vaccination. Some of the complications due to measles are – bronchopneumonia, otitis media & in rare cases SSPE ( subacute scelorising panencephalitis). Rubella can cause various defects affecting the eyes, ears, heart which is collectively termed as CRS ( congenital rubella syndrome).
Where to give & whom to give?
The vaccine is given at schools & at BMC centres free of cost. Side effects are minimal with this vaccine like – pain, fever.
All children who are in between 9 months to 15 years of age should be given this vaccine.
I have given MR vaccine to my daughter at BMC hospital.
In rare cases, vaccination should be avoided i.e. if child has fever or is allergic to components of the vaccine.
Just as we have eradicated small pox, polio from our country, it’s time to join hands and get INDIA Measles & Rubella free.
Hope so by reading this article few myths and realities about vaccinations are clear to you. So what is your take now, is vaccination a boon or a curse for your child?