As a Parent, Protecting your child health is very important to you. It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it occurs. Vaccination is the powerful defense that is safe as well as effective. Diseases that are common around the world include polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, rotavirus and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) can now be prevented by vaccination.
- Newborn babies are immune to large number of diseases because they have antibodies which they receive from their mothers. However, this immunity goes away during the first year of life.
- If an unvaccinated child is exposed to a disease germ, the child's body may not be strong enough to fight the disease. Before vaccines, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent, such as whooping cough, measles, and polio.
- Immunizing individual children also helps in protecting the health of the community, especially those people who can’t be vaccinated and the small proportion of people who don’t respond to a particular vaccine.
In their first 2 years of life, your child is provided free vaccines to protect against these 14 vaccine-preventable diseases:
- Hepatitis B
- Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)
- Meningococcal disease
- Pneumococcal disease
- Rubella (German Measles)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
Child starts getting immunization at 2 months of age, then at 4 months, 6 months, 12 months and then 18 months. The complete immunization schedule for infants and children should be followed.
Vaccines pass through many safety tests before they are given to your child. Vaccines strengthen the baby’s immunity system making it ready to fight certain diseases.
You can take your child to public health unit for their immunizations. Some doctors, nurse practitioners and midwives also provide immunizations. To avoid waitlists, call for your child's 2 month appointment soon after they are born.