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The arrival of a new baby is an exciting time for parents. Whether it is holding the newborn in their arms after months of anticipation or re-organizing their life around the baby’s needs, the joys of parenthood are second to none. Amid this exhilaration, parents often find themselves juggling a slew of responsibilities that they weren’t prepared for. Children have a lot of needs, especially when it comes to their health, and many parents are caught off-guard while planning their vaccination. Childhood vaccinations or immunizations can seem overwhelming when you are a new parent.
As parents, it is important to prioritize vaccination as one of the first steps to ensure all-round protection of your baby. During the initial years of life, a child’s immune system is constantly developing, and this makes them vulnerable to a lot of diseases. By administering the right vaccinations, they can be immunized against more than a dozen serious illnesses that can otherwise hamper their health and well-being. In fact, up-to-date vaccination is crucial not just for the baby but for everyone who is around her or him regularly.
Most of your child’s vaccinations are completed between birth and 6 years. Many vaccines are given more than once, at different ages, and in combinations. This means that you’ll need to keep a careful record of your child's shots. Although sometimes your doctor/ hospital will also keep track, people change cities/ doctors, records get lost, and hence the person ultimately responsible for keeping track of your child's immunizations is you.
In order to simplify the process of vaccination and help parents keep a track of their toddler’s immunization schedule, it is important to have a Vaccination Card. Widely recommended by pediatricians across the globe, Vaccination Cards are useful health records that contain information about vaccination dates and dosage. Often, parents are aware about the importance of vaccination but because of the lack of a proper record, crucial vaccinations are missed. This is where a Vaccination Card comes in as an organizational document that keeps all the data in one place so that parents can keep an eye on their child’s health. Think about your child's vaccination card as you would a Passport and keep it with your other essential documents. You can download an easy-to-read Vaccination card here.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children should be vaccinated in accordance with the schedule outlined in the Vaccination card. This is crucial and also recommended by pediatricians so that children can build immunity in a timely manner to diseases that can potentially turn into life-threatening ailments. Because they become susceptible to certain ailments when they reach a particular age, it is necessary to follow a schedule that is safe and based on science. Following it also minimizes the number of visits to the health care provider and gives a sense of control to the mother over her child’s health.
Generally, parents follow the first-year vaccinations judiciously and as the child grows, they begin to get complacent for forthcoming vaccinations. The first five years in a child’s life is a crucial part of their vaccination journey and includes the below vaccines:
Schedule according to Advisory committee of Vaccination & Immunization practices, 2020-21 by Indian Academy of Pediatrics
# For special situations
DTP: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis; Hib: Haemophilius influenzae type b; Hep-B: Hepatitis B; IPV: Injectible Polio Vaccine
Considering Vaccination Card is one of the most crucial health documents that a child can ever have, always carry it with you while visiting your Pediatrician. It is important for parents to get them updated whenever they visit the pediatrician. Thus, parents can be more prepared if there is a vaccination due or if they accidentally missed out on a vaccination. In such cases, the immediate step should be to consult the Pediatrician for a catch-up vaccination and take things under control. To keep parents more prepared, there are also many free digital vaccination reminder services like the Immunize India App by Indian Academy of Pediatrics. Apart from maintaining a Vaccination Card, these services ensure that parents are additionally proactive about their children’s health.
While there is no single rule when it comes to your child’s good health, timely vaccinations can provide long term protection and can help them build the immunity they need for a healthy life.
Disclaimer: A public awareness initiative by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India. Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only and does not constitute any medical advice. Please consult your Pediatrician for more information, any question or concern you may have regarding your condition. Please consult your Pediatrician for the complete list of vaccine preventable diseases and for the complete vaccination schedule for each disease. Please report adverse events with any GSK product to the company at email@example.com. NP-IN-MLV-OGM-200019, DOP Dec 2020.
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