New Delhi, April 28 (IANSlife) Pediatricians across the globe are getting millions of queries from parents about the routine vaccinations for toddlers and children during the coronavirus pandemic. Though the second wave of the infection has brought our country to a standstill, doctors should urge parents to get their child’s vaccination done routinely because it protects them from other serious infectious diseases.
Even the World Health Organisation has listed immunisation as an essential health service. However, the sudden rise in Covid-19 cases with hospitals is overflowing with Covid patients, makes parents skeptical about getting their child vaccinated, there is a tendency to delay it further. But by delaying, it could unnecessarily be harmful and in some cases even fatal for your children. Without the protection of vaccines, diseases can spread quickly which can lead to harmful consequences.
Basic vaccinations needed to be given to newborns and children:
* Measles Mumps and Rubella
* Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B
* Polio (oral and injectable)
* Pneumococcus and Hemophilus Influenzae
* Chicken pox
Repercussions of delaying vaccines for kids amid a pandemic
Parents should not delay the baby’s booster vaccination dose without discussing it with the doctor. Delaying vaccination weakens the established immunity. We have seen what havoc measles had created in the United States due to parents not following the vaccination calendar of the preventable disease. The country witnessed remote outbreaks of preventable diseases as states saw a decline in the number of vaccinated young children due to misinformation and fear of inoculations.
It is no longer news that the second wave of Covid-19 is affecting kids of all age group. Though the virulence of the infection is not so severe in kids, but it does affect the children. The count of children getting affected is low because children are mostly staying at home and attending their schools and other activities online. But if the child has some illness like a cold and flu, and if he is not vaccinated for it then he/she is more susceptible to the deadly infection.
Since children have a strong immunity, they also recover fast. A strong immunity can be built in small kids only through a good diet and getting the vaccination on time. It protects the child from much severe illness that would need a long hospital stay. Due to the advent of social media, much misinformation regarding child vaccination is being spread, this makes parents worry about side effects of vaccines, and other risks. But the risk of complications of the disease is always higher than the risk of the vaccine, an important fact that sometimes gets lost in the vaccine discussion.
Do not forget the fact that we need to follow a certain schedule for vaccination because it helps in developing antibodies in a child, thereby protecting the kid from vaccine-preventable disease. Pediatricians should carefully schedule visits so that children can get protection when they need it. It’s essential to follow a vaccine calendar for newborns, infants and grown-up children as well. Consult with your doctor if your child’s vaccination gets delayed for any reason.
(, Consultant Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida)
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