Vaccinations, also known as immunizations are very important in protecting infants from a multitude of preventable diseases. Vaccines help to save millions of lives, as well as prevent many more from being hospitalized. In all immunizations can help prevent 2-3 million deaths every year from diseases such as diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis, pneumonia, polio, diarrhoea, etc. Even then over 22 million infants are not immunized completely with necessary vaccines.
In India, even after so many efforts by the government and doctors to educate people towards getting their child vaccinated early on, more than 1.2 million children still die each year before reaching the age of five. Thus, there is a clear need to educate more people and reach as many parents as possible to make them aware of the vaccinations required by their infant.
Below is the vaccination chart for infants in India as suggested by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP).
Reference: IAP-ACVIP Recommended immunization schedule for children aged 0-18 years (2018-19)
|Birth||Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG)||1||BCG|
|Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV 0)||1||OPV|
|Hepatitis B (HB 1)||1||Hep -B|
|6 weeks||Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine (DTP 1)||1||DTP|
|Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV** 1)||1||IPV|
|Hepatitis B (HB 2)||1||Hep -B|
|Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HiB 1)||1||HiB|
|Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV 1)||1||PCV|
|10 weeks||Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine (DTP 2)||1||DTP|
|Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HiB 2)||1||HiB|
|Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV** 2)||1||IPV|
|Hepatitis B (HB 3)||1||Hep -B|
|Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV 2)||1||PCV|
|14 weeks||Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccine (DTP 3)||1||DTP|
|Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HiB 3)||1||HiB|
|Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV** 3)||1||IPV|
|Hepatitis B (HB*4)||1||Hep B|
|Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV 3)||1||PCV|
|6 months||Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TCV#)||1||TCV|
|9 months||Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR 1)||1||MMR|
|12 months||Hepatitis A (Hep A1)||1||Hep -A|
|13 months||Influenza (Yearly) ******||1||Influenza|
|15 months||Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR 2)||1||MMR|
|PCV Booster 1||1||PCV|
|16 to 18 months||Diphtheria, Perussis, and Tetanus (DTP B1)||1||DTP|
|Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV*** B1)||1||IPV|
|Hepatitis A (Hep A2*****)||1||Hep – A|
|Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HiB B1)||1||HiB|
|4 to 6 years||Diphtheria, Perussis, and Tetanus (DTP B2)||1||DTP|
|Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR 3/MMRV)||1||MMR|
|9 to 14 years||Tdap||1||Tdap|
|Human Papilloma Virus (HPV 1 & 2)||1||HPV|
|15 to 18 Years||Td||1||Tdap|
|Human Papilloma Virus (HPV 1, 2 & 3)||1||HPV|
*Fourth Dose of Hepatitis B permissible for combinations vaccine only
**In case IPV is not available or feasible, the child should be offered bOPV (3 doses). In such case give two fractional doses of IPV at 6 wk and 14 wk
***b-OPV, if IPV booster (standalone or combination) not feasible
****Third dose not required for RV 1. Catch up to 1 year of age in UIP schedule.
*****Live attenuated Hepatitis A vaccine: Single done only
******Begin influenza vaccine after 6 months of age, about 2-4 weeks before the season, give 2 doses at the interval of 4 weeks during the first year and then single dose yearly till 5 years of age
Vaccines recommended for high-risk children/area include:
- Meningococcal (MCV)
- Japanese Encephalitis (JE)
- Tetanus, Diphtheria Toxoids, and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap; Td)
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
A few examples of a high-risk category of children include:
- Congenital or acquired immune deficiency
- Liver disease
- Chronic cardiac, liver, renal, or hematologic disease
- Frequent travellers
- Children with long-term exposure to radiation therapy, steroids, etc.
- Children with hyposplenia
- Children undertaken a cochlear implant surgery
Please note: Vaccinations may vary as per the geographical location and exposure of the infant; hence a medical consultation is very necessary. In any case, it is always advisable to consult a paediatrician before getting your infant immunized.
Some other important things that parents must remember about their infant’s vaccination are:
- Follow the vaccination schedule religiously and do not skip any vaccination
- In case you miss a vaccination, consult your paediatrician and know the best recourse
- Do not get the child vaccinated if he/she has an ongoing fever
- Evaluate properly your choice between painless and painful vaccination for the child. Painless vaccination has a higher chance of decreasing immunity.
- Mild fever post-vaccination is normal
- Comfort your child during the vaccination
- Do not panic or cry while the child receives the vaccination, it can cause the child to be hysteric.