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Vaccinology

Milestones have a comprehensive vaccination programme and all the latest vaccines are available. The standard immunization schedule, as recommended by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (http://www.iapcoi.com/), is followed with no arbitrary alterations. When different variants of the vaccine are available (for example whole cell and acellular DTP vaccine), Dr. Anand makes it a point to explain their pros and cons to parents to help them decide.

At Milestones children’s Clinic, the visits for vaccination are also optimally utilised to provide guidance regarding diet (including nutritional counseling), parenting issues, physical exercise and healthy lifestyle from an early age, and prevention of injuries. Care is given to management of developmental issues, potty training resistance, sleep difficulties, food fussiness, temper tantrums, breath holding spells and the like. Age-appropriate instructions, anticipatory guidance and advice on age-appropriate toys are the routine in these well baby check-ups. The idea is to get involved with the parents in getting every child to reach its true potential!

Vaccinations will be given only after the pros and cons of each vaccine are discussed with parents. Premium brands of vaccines from GSK, Wyeth, Chiron, Sarnoff-Pasteur, Bharat, Serum institute will be used. Efforts are taken to ensure that the vaccination experience is as pleasant as possible All vaccinations will be administered by trained and experienced staff. Details of vaccinations given will be entered in the vaccine card, the patient’s chart as well as in the clinic’s computer records.

Reminders of upcoming vaccinations are sent by e mail or SMS

Vaccinations are given from 8.00 to 1.00 pm, and 4 to 7.30 pm on all days of the week (from 1/12/2011). Vaccination on Sunday is a priority service.

Vaccination will be given between 8.30 to 12.30 pm on Sundays.

Vaccinology

Immunisation Schedule

List of vaccines available:

BCG
Oral polio
Hepatitis B
DTPw/DTPa
HIB (Haemophilus)
Measles
Chicken Pox
MMR
Hepatitis A
Typhoid
Tetanus
Tdap
Influenza
Cervical cancer

Influenza/swine flu vaccines are offered during the flu season and pulse polio vaccines are administered on the nominated dates.

1.Vaccines and the diseases vaccination can prevent

Vaccines have saved more lives than any other medical intervention in history. They are extremely safe and effective and are well tolerated by most people. The risks involved in vaccines are very low. There are many vaccines available for babies, children and adults. Please check these vaccine schedules to make sure that you and your family are fully protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. (Or you can ask your doctor/nurse to review your vaccine needs with you in person).

In case of doubts about the value of protecting yourself from disease, here are some valid reasons to get vaccinated:

Vaccines can reduce the risk of getting certain cancers.
Did you know that wart viruses can cause cervical cancer? Young women and girl children above 12 can protect themselves from certain cancer-causing viruses with the HPV (Human Papilloma virus) vaccine. It is well recognised that HPV is a necessary cause of cervical cancer, and cancer of the cervix is the second most common cancer among women. Similarly the risk of liver cancer can be reduced with the Hepatitis B vaccine.

2. Vaccines can provide protection from bacterial pneumonia.

S.pneumoniae is the bug responsible for 15-50% of all community acquired pneumonia, 30-50% of all cases of acute otitis media and a significant proportion of bacterial meningitis. About 1.42 lakh children under the age of 5 die of pneumococcal diseases in India. This is one of the highest in the world. PCV vaccine gives good protection against this dangerous disease.

3. Vaccines can provide protection from the flu.

Every year flu vaccines are designed in advance to match the most common strains of the virus. Depending on how the viruses develop and spread, the vaccines may vary in effectiveness. The good news is that most years, flu vaccines are 70-90% effective in preventing the flu in healthy adults.

4. Vaccines offer protection from paralysis and prevent death caused by the polio virus.

Poliomyelitis is a viral disease that can affect the nerves and can lead to partial or full paralysis. Two effective vaccines have ensured a remarkable decline in the global disease. OPV is administered orally, and inactivated polio vaccine is given as an intramuscular injection. It is ideal to give both the vaccines to ensure that you are free of polio.

5. Vaccines can protect babies from whooping cough (pertussis) and diphtheria.

Before we had vaccines for whooping cough and diphtheria, these diseases were a leading cause of death in babies and young children. In fact, 5-10% of those who get diphtheria die from it. These deadly infections can be prevented with vaccines, and those who opt out of vaccinating their children are putting them (and those with whom they are in contact) at risk.

6. Vaccines can provide protection from tetanus (a.k.a. “lock jaw”).


Tetanus bacteria may infect the body through puncture wounds, certain infections, or burns. These bacteria cause painful body spasms, difficulty in swallowing, fever, and stiffness in the neck and jaw. Tetanus is fatal in about 1 in 10 cases. Since it is hard to know in advance when you might develop a deep wound or penetrating injury, it is best to keep your tetanus shots up to date. Vaccination every 10 years is appropriate for most adults.

7. Vaccines offer protection from some forms of hepatitis.

Hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver, can be caused by viral infections. Although scientists are still searching for vaccines that can protect the liver from many types of viral infections, they have already succeeded in creating a vaccine against hepatitis A and B. Hepatitis A is more common in countries where sanitation and sewage treatment systems are not well developed. Hepatitis A occasionally can cause liver failure requiring transplantation. Hepatitis B is especially dangerous in children. Chronic hepatitis B infection can put people at risk for liver cancer.


8. Vaccines can prevent certain bacterial brain infections.

Babies and teens are at the highest risk for bacterial meningitis. Even when they are treated with antibiotics, 10-15% of these children die. Of those who survive, another 11-19% lose their arms or legs, become deaf, have problems with their nervous systems, become mentally retarded, or suffer seizures or strokes. The vaccines which give protection against meningitis are meningococcal vaccine, pneumococcal and hemophilus

9. Vaccines can prevent measles, mumps, and rubella.

Vaccination programmes against measles, mumps, and rubella have been so successful that many people have never seen a case of these diseases. Measles can cause pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death. Mumps can cause deafness, brain inflammation, and swollen testicles or ovaries. Rubella (also known as ‘German measles’) can cause arthritis, birth defects, and miscarriages. False links between the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine and autism have been widely promoted, resulting in reduced childhood vaccination rates in certain communities. There have been recent measles outbreaks in areas where parents have declined to protect their children from these diseases. It is critical that we continue to provide safe and effective vaccines to our children so that we can eradicate the diseases once and for all.