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The pandemic has thrown a lot of our healthcare routines out of schedule. This is especially true of vaccination schedules for young children. In the first five years of a child’s life, there are a slew of vaccinations scheduled, to correspond with stages of immune system development. They are, therefore, essential to give children immunization cover against virulent childhood diseases like pertussis, Hepatitis A, meningitis and polio. 1,2 While parents are extra careful of their child’s vaccination schedule up to 1-2 years of age, it takes a backseat as the child grows. It is important for parents to remember that the risk of diseases does not go away as children grow up. Some of the important vaccinations recommended for children between 1 to 5 years of age include Hepatitis-A, Chicken Pox, MMR, Meningitis ACWY vaccine, DTP-HIB-Hep B booster, PCV booster, annual Influenza Vaccine, etc.2
If any of these vaccinations are missed, it can have long lasting repercussions that compromise your child’s health.1 That’s why pediatricians have been giving parents, a Vaccination card: A passport to a child’s good health. Not only does the vaccination card clearly lay out the vaccination schedule, it also becomes a reiteration of the importance of getting those vaccinations. Parents can use it as a ready reckoner to plan their future course of action and catch up on any missed vaccinations.
Vaccinations cards have become even more important now in a world that’s increasingly paranoid about the dangers of infectious diseases. The vaccination card doubles up as a bona fide record of your child’s health and immunization history. It can be a useful document when applying for school admissions, or travel visas. It also provides important information to doctors about the child’s immunization status, and what other vaccinations might still be pending.
But most importantly, the vaccination card builds an awareness of vaccinations that a child needs for comprehensive protection against the most prevalent childhood diseases. It encourages parents to stick to a proper schedule through the early years of their child’s life, knowing that any slips can snowball into delayed vaccinations and compromised immunity. With more parents following standard guides like the vaccination card, there are also digital applications that work as vaccination reminders for parents. One such service is the Immunize India app by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics.3 There are several other platforms that allow parents to digitize their child’s vaccination card and records.
Considering these advantages, compliance to vaccination card and following the Paediatrician’s recommended schedule should be a must for all parents. They provide a perfect guide to what vaccination should be given to your child and when. This vaccination routine can be further fine-tuned after consulting your Paediatrician. And just like that, following the vaccination card diligently can form the perfect basis for years of immunity and protection of your child.
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