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Vaccination: Types, Cost, Benefits, Side Effects And Vaccination schedule

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2020

What is vaccination?

Vaccination is the method wherein a bacterium or virus is intentionally administered in a person’s body, enabling his/her immune system to prepare itself for fighting a future infection.

It has the ability to protect your body from specific diseases by boosting your immunity. A vaccine is prepared with a very small amount of the virus or the bacteria that can cause a specific disease.

These partial and weakened organisms prompt the immune system of your body to develop antibodies, for the very purpose of defending your system against those diseases.

What are vaccine-preventable diseases?

Vaccination is one of the most important things recommended by doctors, especially for a child. Timely vaccinations can protect you from diseases such as:

What is the purpose of vaccination?

Vaccines are highly necessary for eliminating, controlling or eradicating a number of infectious and serious diseases. It is true that children and elderly people are more prone to illness, but adults can also be affected by any kind of disease at any point in their lives. You should take your vaccination even if you are an adult if your vaccination was not completed in your yesteryears.

Just like eating healthy, exercising and going for regular checkups are important, vaccination is equally important and has an important role in maintaining your overall health. It can be considered as one of the safest and convenient preventive care actions available.

What is the importance of vaccination?

  • Vaccination keeps you and your family healthy: If a person is vaccinated then throughout life then he/she will be protected by that disease whole life. Vaccines related to life-threatening disease should not be skipped.
  • Vaccines are safe: Vaccines are said to be the safest in all products of medicines.
  • Vaccines create a difference between life and death: If a disease is prevented by vaccine it is dangerous and to prevent it vaccine is important.
  • Vaccines prevent the disease for what they are given for: People do not tend to catch a disease if they are vaccinated and cannot catch a disease from the vaccine.
  • Vaccines keep you healthy: Vaccine protects many diseases throughout life and skipping them makes you vulnerable to many diseases such as influenza, shingles, HPB, hepatitis B.

How are vaccines made?

A vaccine is created by the following three steps:

  • The antigen will be first generated. An antigen refers to the substance that enables the body to produce antibodies.
  • The antigen is then isolated from the cells that have been used to create it
  • The vaccine is prepared by adding stabilizers, preservatives and adjuvant to the generated antigen. Stabilizers will increase the storage life of the vaccine, preservatives make the vials possible for multi-dose and adjuvant help to enhance the immune response of the body towards the antigen.

How vaccines are stored?

There must be proper storage of vaccines and they must be handled with care. If the vaccines are not stored properly then there can be immunization issues. 35°F and 46°F is the temperature in which Vaccines must be stored in the refrigerator.

If the vaccines are not stored properly then there can be immunization issues. If the vaccines are not stored according to the temperature given or outside the range of temperature then the potency protection is reduced.

If there is fluctuation in the temperature of the vaccine then the vaccine can have cumulative negative effects. The management of vaccines must be done according to the proper storage and handling procedures.

How does vaccination work?

Depending on the type of the vaccine that is being administered in your body, it could be:

  • Oral administration, for stimulating the formation of antibodies in your intestinal linings. It will prevent the infected virus from binding to the wall or the mucous membrane of the intestine.
  • Intranasal, for combating diseases which spread in the body through the mucous membrane of the nasal cavity
  • Intradermal injection, wherein the vaccine will be injected into the upper layer of the skin, ensuring that it does not cause any damage to the nerves and blood vessels
  • Intramuscular injections that are injected into your muscle tissues
  • Subcutaneous injections that are injected into the layer of fat present between the skin and the muscles. This method is used when the vaccine needs to be released gradually in the body.

Who needs a vaccine?

Most of the vaccines are administered to people during their childhood, but sometimes adults and elderly people can also require vaccination. You may require a vaccination in the following conditions:

  • You have a weak immune system: This could be due to certain cancers that can weaken the system, HIV infection or specific medications that have the ability to damage your immune system.
  • If you are pregnant, old or have some medical complications, you may be at risk of getting an infection. To prevent it, vaccination would be required.
  • If you plan to travel to specific places where the infection is common, you should get vaccinated so that you are not infected with that particular infection.

Who is not eligible for vaccination?

Vaccination is not recommended in the following conditions:

  • Children who are less than six months old
  • If a person has a severe allergy to any kind of vaccine or any of the ingredients that are used in the vaccine; it could be an allergy to antibiotics, gelatin or any other ingredient.

What are the benefits of vaccination?

Benefits Of Vaccination:

  • Diseases that can kill, sicken or have killed can be prevented with the help of vaccination
  • Vaccination is given to the individual for not only protecting him/her but to keep the people surrounding him out of danger.
  • Even if a person is vaccinated then also there are chances that the person may get sick.
  • Different kinds of vaccines are made up of different types of composition thus affecting each person differently.
  • If someone has a weak immune system they must be vaccinated under the supervision of an expert.
  • If someone is allergic to a vaccine then they can get the allergy or the reaction again.

What is the vaccination schedule for Infants and adults?

Vaccination schedule:

  • Hepatitis B: This vaccine is given to the newborns after they are discharged from the hospital. The second dose at 1 to 2 months and the third dose at 6-18 months.
  • Rotavirus: Two or three doses of the vaccines are given to the children of 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months.
  • Poliovirus: 4 doses of this vaccine is given to the children of the age of 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months and then 4-6 years.
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b : three or four doses of vaccines are given at age 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12-15 months.
  • Pneumococcal: 4 doses of this vaccine are given at the age of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12-15 months.
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine: Children who are below the age of 7 are given vaccines of diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis . The 5 doses of DTaP are also given at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months, and to the children of 4-6 years. At the adolescence period is recommended at the age of 11-12.
  • Influenza: This vaccine is given at the beginning of 6 months and only one dose is given to most of the people but children of 6 months to 8 years are given 2 doses at 4 weeks apart if they are being given influenza vaccine for the first time.
  • Measles-mumps-rubella : Two doses of this vaccine are given one at the age of 12-15 month and the second at 4-6 years.
  • Varicella: Two doses are given. At 12-15 months and 4-6 years.
  • Hepatitis A: This vaccine is given for long-lasting protection the time of the first dose is between 12-23 months and the second dose is given 6-18 months later. Children above the age of 23 months are not given hepatitis A vaccine then they can be given the vaccine to protect them from the influence of Hepatitis A.
  • Human papillomavirus vaccine: This vaccine is for the children who are adolescents and they are given 2-3 doses.

What are the side effects of vaccination?

  • Vaccine for TB – Swollen glands, ulcer at the site where it was injected
  • Vaccine for Chickenpox – Soreness, swelling, redness or a lump at the place where injected, fever, mild rashes
  • Vaccine for Cholera – Diarrhea, headache, mild gastrointestinal problems
  • Vaccine for Hepatitis A – Nausea, headache, tiredness, fever, redness at the injected area, general discomfort
  • Vaccine for Hepatitis B – Fever, redness
  • Vaccine for Influenza – Fever, tenderness of the muscles, swelling
  • Vaccine for polio – Muscle aches, fever, redness
  • Vaccine for rabies – Dizziness, nausea, headache, muscle pain
  • Vaccine for tetanus – Drowsiness, tiredness, vomiting, rashes
  • Vaccine for typhoid – Nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, discomfort in the stomach, headache

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The post treatment guidelines of vaccination would include:

  • If you are down with a fever, you can take medicines but only after consulting your doctor. Drinking plenty of fluids can also help to bring down the fever.
  • In the case of swelling or redness, you can apply an ice pack on the area where the vaccine was injected. You can also use a wet cloth over the affected area.
  • Do not drive immediately after getting vaccinated
  • In case of an allergic reaction, consult your doctor

How long does it take to recover?

One can recover in two to three weeks after the vaccination. A proper diet can enhance the speed of recovery.

What is the cost of vaccination in India?

There is no such exact estimate of the cost of vaccines in India. It depends on the type and dosage of the vaccine that needs to be administered.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Vaccines are generally administered as a series of doses over a certain time period. A single dose of a particular vaccination has only a limited duration of protection that it can offer. Listed below are some of the vaccinations and the time that a single dose lasts:

  • Chickenpox – 10 years
  • Polio – 10 years
  • Cholera – 2 years
  • Hepatitis A – 20 years or longer
  • Hepatitis B – lifelong
  • Tetanus – 10 years
  • Typhoid – 3 years
  • Yellow fever – 10 years
  • Rabies – 10 years
  • Pneumonia – 5 years

What are the alternatives to the vaccination?

The alternatives to vaccination can be:

  • Homoeopathic nosodes: A nosode is a homoeopathic preparation that you can take for boosting your immunity. It will provide you with a certain level of protection from specific diseases.
  • Ayurveda: There is no Ayurvedic vaccination as such, but it can make your immune system strong with the help of certain preparations and tonics.

Key Highlights:

  • Safety: Very High
  • Effectiveness: High
  • Timeliness: High
  • Relative Risk: Low
  • Side Effects: Medium
  • Recovery Time: Medium
  • Price Range: Vaccine dependent

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Written ByDr. Amit C MD - Physical Medicine & RehabilitationPediatrics
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