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Vaccination Tips

Is It Safe To Get A Flu Vaccine During Pregnancy?

Is It Safe To Get A Flu Vaccine During Pregnancy?

Yes. It’s safe to get a flu vaccine during pregnancy. It will not only decrease the risk of getting flu during pregnancy but also protects the child for several months after birth. It is recommended to get a flu vaccine during your prenatal care. 

Vaccination - How Vital Is It?

Vaccination - How Vital Is It?

Parents need to do everything possible to ensure their kids are in good health and shielded from preventable diseases. Vaccination is an ideal approach for the same. Vaccination shields children from serious sickness and the complications of diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. This can include removal of an arm or leg, loss of motion of limbs, hearing loss, paralysis, brain damage and even death. Vaccination is very safe and is always successful. All the vaccines go through a long and cautious survey by researchers, specialists, and the government to ensure they are safe to use.

Here are a few reasons as to why vaccination is very important:

  1. It will keep you healthy: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prescribes vaccination for the duration of your life to protect you against numerous infections and diseases. When you skip vaccination, you expose yourself and make yourself helpless against sicknesses, for example, chicken pox, pneumonia, flu and HPV and hepatitis B, both being the leading causes of cancer.
  2. Preventing the ones around you from getting ill: A vaccine-preventable disease that may make you sick for a week or two could prove to be deadly for your children, grandchildren, or parents in case it spreads to them. When you get vaccinated, you are preventing this. For instance, grown-ups are the most widely recognised sources of pertussis (whooping cough) disease in newborn children, which can be fatal for babies.
  3. Some diseases have expensive treatments: A normal flu sickness can last up to fifteen days, regularly with five or six missed workdays. Grown-ups and adults who get hepatitis can lose at least one month of work and can get chronically ill in some cases. This can hinder your work which in turn can burn a hole in your pocket. Some of these vaccine-preventable diseases are very expensive to treat.
  4. Young and healthy people get ill too: Newborn children and the elderly are at more serious danger for dangerous infections and diseases, however, vaccine-preventable diseases can strike anybody. In case you are young and healthy, getting vaccinated can help you remain as such.
  5. Vaccines are important to overall health besides a good diet: Like eating solid foods, working out, and getting regular check-ups, vaccination assumes a crucial part in keeping you sound and healthy. Antibodies are a standout amongst the most advantageous and most secure preventive measures available.
  6. They protect the future generations: Vaccines have decreased and, now and again, eliminated a number of diseases that were responsible for seriously handicapping a large number of people until a couple of years back. For instance, smallpox or chicken pox vaccines have been responsible for decreasing the infection around the world. This is the reason why your children do not require the smallpox shots anymore because the infection does not exist on the ground and has been completely eliminated.
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Cancer - Know Vital Test For It!

Cancer - Know Vital Test For It!

Oncology deals with treating cancer after you have been diagnosed with the condition. However, preventive oncology is a specialized branch of oncology, where the aim is to prevent cancer in your body. Michael Shimkin from the University of California coined the term preventive oncology in 1975, for the science of primary and secondary prevention of cancer in the human body.

Prevention of cancer depends on the factors responsible. One of the primary causes is viral infections – responsible for 17% of cancer cases around the world. Amongst them, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is one of the leading causes of cervical and anogenital cancers

HPV and cancer

HPV is a common reproductive virus, mainly found in women after they engage in sexual intercourse. Even though such infections are common, you will not be able to feel any symptoms from the infection. Within 2 years, the infection clears off without the need for any treatment. However, if the infection persists, women may develop cervical pre-cancer. At this stage, without any preventive measures, the condition will progress to cervical cancer later in life.

In most cases, HPV infections take around 10 years to progress into a cancer of the cervix. Therefore, preventing HPV infections can help prevent cervical cancers. HPV vaccines can help avoid such infections. Furthermore, engaging in safe sexual encounters is key to avoiding HPV and preventing increased risk of cervical cancer.

Tests that help make preventive oncology possible

Since in preventive oncology the aim is to determine the risk of cancer in the body and reduce those risks, special tests are necessary to look for pointers of cancer.

Liquid-based cytology (LBC)- This is a relatively newer diagnostic test for cervical cancer. Here the cytological samples are collected in liquid vials, instead of slides. A slide is later prepared at the lab. LBC reduces the number of slides required for the test and increases the sensitivity to the test. Furthermore, it enhances the ability of smear readers.

Digene HC2 test- This is the new favourite cancer prevention diagnostic test. It can successfully screen a patient against the presence of 13-high risk HPV strains. These types of virus are carcinogenic and responsible for cervical cancer. The test uses advanced Hybrid Capture 2 technology to detect the presence of specific HPV types. Both of these tests are essential in the prevention of cervical cancer in your body. Speak to your oncologist today about preventative measures, if you think you have HPV infections.

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Inactivated Influenza Vaccine In Pregnancy - Know Importance Of It!

Inactivated Influenza Vaccine In Pregnancy - Know Importance Of It!

During pregnancy, flu (influenza) can impose serious health implications for both the mother and the child. Due to pregnancy, the risk of developing complications like pneumonia are very high, which can pose as a problem during childbirth. Miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth are some of the major issues, which might develop if the mother has suffered from flu during her pregnancy. Although flu vaccination during pregnancy has certain risks, it has been observed that in most cases the benefits of inactivated influenza vaccine outweigh the risks. However, Live attenuated influenza vaccine is not recommended at all during pregnancy.

Recommendations across the world suggest that prevention of influenza by administration of inactivated influenza vaccine is the best intervention in pregnancy. The vaccine for Flushould be administered before the onset of flu season. RANZCOG, NHS UK, RCOG, FOGSI recommends inactivated flu vaccine for all the pregnant women unless there are any contraindications. 

Taking inactivated influenza vaccine can be beneficial in multiple ways:

1. Prevents maternal complications: During pregnancy, the heart and lungs go through extra stress. Pregnancy can also severely impact your immune system. Opting for a inactivated flu vaccine can decrease significantly, the chance of falling severely ill due to flu.

2. Prevents pregnancy problems due to flu: Getting infected by flu during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage during childbirth. Administering inactivated flu shots can prevent miscarriage as well as premature birth and low birth weight.

3. Protects the baby after birth: Infants have a huge risk of getting infected with flu after birth. But as vaccines cannot be administered to them until they are 6 months old, it is the best recourse to opt for inactivated flu shots during pregnancy as the antibodies pass onto the child from the mother via placenta. The child can hence be protected from such diseases.

Some concerns

Often, one fear about the vaccine, is the development of Gullain Barre syndrome. This is very rare and the risk of GBS are higher following influenza like illness. Also, if the patient is allergic to eggs they are advised to consult a physician. Flu vaccines have traces of egg protein in it. Certain precautions are taken after studying the patient's medical history. The doctor may keep the patient under observation. Or in certain instances the physician might suggest alternative flu vaccine, which do not contain egg protein. Physicians decide it after studying any prior allergic reaction.

As per  the WHO SAGE position paper, from 1990 to 2009 the vaccine adverse event reporting system database in USA reported only 20 serious adverse events following administration of trivalent influenza vaccine to an estimated 11.8 million pregnant women.

 

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HPV Vaccine - Know Vital Information About It!

HPV Vaccine - Know Vital Information About It!

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one the most common sexually transmitted virus and an HPV vaccination protect you against this virus. It is estimated that HP infects at least 50% of the population during their sexually active phase. Although the virus is not a deadly type of a virus as it goes away on its own, in some cases, it can lead to anal, throat cancers and genital warts as well.

The common vaccine
Gardasil is the common form of HPV vaccine that is routinely given for such conditions. It is given to people who’re between the age group of 9 and 26. HPV vaccine is not fool-proof as these don’t work effectively against all types of HPV. But, these vaccines are effective against the high-risk strains that account for nearly 75% of all cervical cancers. The vaccine is also effective against the cancer of the vagina and vulva.

The correct dose
The vaccine has a virus-like strain but it is not the actual virus. The patient is given three doses over a period of six months, and there are no side effects associated with it, apart from giddiness and instances of fainting spells (in some cases). However, these are only passing phases and should disappear in some time.

Small facts
It’s always advisable that you consult a well-trusted doctor before going for one of such vaccines. Thanks to marketing gimmicks, many people can be misguided into this, so it’s always better to know if you’re the right person for this or not. Check your report with a doctor, and then decide. Recently, Gardasil 9 was approved by the medical associations and this strain of vaccine is far more effective than its counterparts.

Know the age factor
Ideally, the vaccine should be endorsed for the population at the ages 11 to 12. It is advisable to give the vaccine at a young age, before the sexual activity of a person starts or the start of the puberty.

Gender talk
Gardasil vaccine can be given to women till they reach the age of 25 or 26 and in case they are not exposed to the vaccine at an early stage. Gardasil vaccination is also effective for men in the age group of 9 to 25 and it helps in the prevention of genital warts which is the most common STI among men.

Prevent cancer?
Gardasil has also been used in the prevention of cancer. It should be noted that the vaccinations are not an exact cure for HPV but it minimizes the chances. It also doesn’t mean that women can skip the Pap smear tests once they are vaccinated that are used to rule out the chances of cervical cancer.

Above all the vaccination should not be taken without consulting your gynaecologist

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Suvarna Prashan!

Suvarna Prashan!

Swarna Prashana and Swarna Bindu Prashana, an ancient ayurvedic recipe also a known tonic for kids. Which helps in enhancing the immunity and improves intelligence in children. It acts on mind, brain, immune system, skin and promotes growth and development, maintains health, builds resistance to infections by developing non-specific immunity. It is also known to improve complexion.

Like modern vaccination, suvarna-prashan also helps in preventing diseases by building immunity against bacteria and viruses. It, however, has no specific indications like an individual vaccine, but it improves the overall immunity of children.

Suvarna prashan is used to cure bacterial and viral infections. It helps in treating upper respiratory tract infections and prevents common cold and flu. Apart from treating diseases, it improves memory, intelligence, verbal and cognitive functions of the brain.
Ingredients of swarna prashana

The ingredient list is as follows:

Swarna bhasma is now a days used in swarna prashana, because it has better safety profile and efficacy as compared to unprocessed gold. The process used for making bhasma reduces the possible unwanted effects and increases its effectiveness.

Ancient Indain method of swarna prashana

  • Take a little amount of water and pure gold. Rub gold in the water on a clean grinding stone facing east direction.
  • Now, mix water and rubbed gold with honey and cow’s ghee.
  • This mixture is given to the child to increase non-specific immunity.

Dosage of swarna prashana

  • Infants to 6 months: 1 drop every day/ 2drops on each pushya nakshatra.
  • 6 month to 2 years: 2 drops every day/ on each pushya nakshatra.
  • 2 to 10 years: 4 drops every day/ on each pushya nakshatra.
  • Above 10 years: 6 drops every day.
  • The single dose can also be effective if taken immediately after birth or as soon as possible following the birth. 
  • Use on a daily basis for 30 days to 6 months according to kashyapa samhita for the desired effects on immunity and intelligence. 

Use of Suvarna prashan in Indian culture

One of the ancient indian rituals, Suvarna prashan sanskar is an immuno-modulatory technique used in indian medicine and hindu families for children. In this process, swarna (suvarna) bhasma (micro-fine and calcined gold particles) is used with medicated ayurvedic ghee (clarified butter) and honey in unequal amounts.

Age of Suvarna prashan in Indian culture

  • Children within 16 years of age can take swarna prashana. The capacity to build immunity against various diseases and infections is higher in early childhood.
  • It is best to give suvarna prashan to the kids within 5 years of age, As, 90 percent of the development of the brain takes place within this time.
  • If you were unable to give swarna prashana to your child within 5 years, then there is nothing to worry as you can give him/her up to the age of 16. 

Time of swarna prashana administration

The best to give it to your child is early morning before sunrise. 

Duration of use

Single optimum dosage of swarna bindu prashana is effective to prevent common infections. If you take it for 30 days regularly then it will be helpful for preventing maximum of the diseases and will also increase intelligence. It will be very good if you give swarna prashana to your child at least for 30 days. For more beneficial effects on the brain, it can be used for 6 months. 

According to kashyapa samhita, if swarna prashana is consumed for a month, children become very intelligent and if he continues to take it for 6 months then the child is able to learn quickly and remember whatever he hears. 

Benefits of suvarna prashan

1. Boosts immune system

Swarna prashana (suvarna prashana) contains pure gold in the form of ash and some other herbs that are known to enhance the immune power of the body. Children below the age of 5 have a low immunity and are prone to infections. Therefore, consuming this medicine will help in building a strong immunity and reduce chances of common infections such as cough, cold and fever.

2. Enhances memory

It helps in improving attention and the grasping power in children. Swarna prashana (suvarna prashana) seems to be very important for improving brain health in children as it enhances the memory.

3. Improves digestion

Swarna prashan improves the absorption of essential nutrients from food. Over 60 percent children often suffer from gastric discomfort and reduced appetite, therefore, consuming Swarna prashana will improve appetite and thus promotes healthy body growth.

4. Nourishes the skin

Swarna prashana detoxifies the body by expelling the toxins out of the body. This medicine also improves the blood circulation brings a glow to the skin.

5. Reduces mental agitation

It effectively reduces temper and tantrums. Swarna prashana (suvarna prashana) seems extremely beneficial in children with special needs such as autism, learning difficulties, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity.

6. Improves hearing and vision

Swarna prashan is known to improve the sense of hearing and vision.

7. Improves overall physical and mental health

Swarna prashan helps in improving the blood circulation in the body and also stimulates the nervous system which leads to overall good physical and mental health. It is also very helpful for improving memory, retention powder, intelligence, intellect, cognitive functions of the brain.

Importance of pushya nakshatra for swarna prashana 

It would be good if you take swarna prashana on pushya nakshatra. Pushya (nourishment) nakshatra is the most auspicious of the 27 nakshatras. It’s symbol si cow udder. If observed on the pushya nakshatra, the stars in the sky appear in an arrangement that creates cow udder. It can be consumed any day, however, the efficacy can vary and it may not be as effective as pushya nakshatra.

Medicinal value of suvarna prashan

Here is the medicinal value for preventive as well as therapeutic purposes.

  • Immuno-stimulant
  • Adaptogenic
  • Memory booster
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiarthritic
  • Anticancer
  • Antibacterial
  • Antiviral
  • Antimutagenic
  • Antioxidant

Inactivated Influenza Vaccine In Pregnancy - How Beneficial Is It?

Inactivated Influenza Vaccine In Pregnancy - How Beneficial Is It?

During pregnancy, flu (influenza) can impose serious health implications for both the mother and the child. Due to pregnancy, the risk of developing complications like pneumonia are very high, which can pose as a problem during childbirth. Miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth are some of the major issues, which might develop if the mother has suffered from flu during her pregnancy. Although flu vaccination during pregnancy has certain risks, it has been observed that in most cases the benefits of inactivated influenza vaccine outweigh the risks. However, Live attenuated influenza vaccine is not recommended at all during pregnancy.

Recommendations across the world suggest that prevention of influenza by administration of inactivated influenza vaccine is the best intervention in pregnancy. The vaccine for Flushould be administered before the onset of flu season. RANZCOG, NHS UK, RCOG, FOGSI recommends inactivated flu vaccine for all the pregnant women unless there are any contraindications. 

Taking inactivated influenza vaccine can be beneficial in multiple ways:

1. Prevents maternal complications: During pregnancy, the heart and lungs go through extra stress. Pregnancy can also severely impact your immune system. Opting for a inactivated flu vaccine can decrease significantly, the chance of falling severely ill due to flu.

2. Prevents pregnancy problems due to flu: Getting infected by flu during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage during childbirth. Administering inactivated flu shots can prevent miscarriage as well as premature birth and low birth weight.

3. Protects the baby after birth: Infants have a huge risk of getting infected with flu after birth. But as vaccines cannot be administered to them until they are 6 months old, it is the best recourse to opt for inactivated flu shots during pregnancy as the antibodies pass onto the child from the mother via placenta. The child can hence be protected from such diseases.

Some concerns
Often, one fear about the vaccine, is the development of Gullain Barre syndrome. This is very rare and the risk of GBS are higher following influenza like illness. Also, if the patient is allergic to eggs they are advised to consult a physician. Flu vaccines have traces of egg protein in it. Certain precautions are taken after studying the patient's medical history. The doctor may keep the patient under observation. Or in certain instances the physician might suggest alternative flu vaccine, which do not contain egg protein. Physicians decide it after studying any prior allergic reaction.

As per  the WHO SAGE position paper, from 1990 to 2009 the vaccine adverse event reporting system database in USA reported only 20 serious adverse events following administration of trivalent influenza vaccine to an estimated 11.8 million pregnant women.

 

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Why Vaccination Is Required Against Chicken Pox?

Why Vaccination Is Required Against Chicken Pox?

Chickenpox or varicella is a type of viral infection that causes itchy rashes accompanied by tiny fluid-filled blisters. It is highly communicable to those who have not experienced this disease earlier or have not been immunized against it through vaccination

The vaccine against chickenpox is a shot protecting anyone, who has already contracted the disease. It is known as the varicella vaccine since chicken pox is triggered by the virus called varicella-zoster. The vaccine is prepared from a living but a weakened virus.

Why would you require a chicken pox virus?

  1. The risk behind the condition aggravating into something life threatening is high among adults, infants and people possessing a weak immunity system as they are prone to developing serious complications as well. There is no way you can predict who would be the next prey.
  2. The illness is extremely contagious and can get transmitted either through air while coughing or sneezing or by direct contact especially with the fluid present in the chicken pox blisters. For this reason, you need to stay segregated until and unless all your blisters have dried up or crusted over. The illness may induce itchy rashes all over your body along with fussiness, cough and headaches.
  3. The vaccine is recommended for all adults and adolescents who have not been infected by chicken pox ever earlier. A vaccine called MMRV offers a combined protection against varicella, rubella, mumps and measles.
  4. The vaccine has to be administered in two shots. However the medicines are not devoid of mild side effects,for instance, swelling in the region where you have been injected alongside mild rashes.

Who should not opt for the vaccine?

  1. Pregnant women since the effect of the vaccine on your fetus is yet to be unraveled
  2. People who are allergic to neomycin and gelatin ( a gelatin-free varicella vaccine is actually available)
  3. People suffering from diseases caused due to a weak immunity system or taking high dosage of steroids
  4. Cancer patients who have to be treated with chemotherapy, drugs and X-rays
  5. People who have had a blood transfusion in about five months before receiving the shot.
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HPV Vaccination - Everything You Should Be Aware About!

HPV Vaccination - Everything You Should Be Aware About!

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of 200 viruses. 40 of these are transmitted through direct sexual contact. The infections from papillomavirus can cause penile cancer and anal cancer in men. It can cause genital warts, cervical cancer, anal cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, vulval cancer, and vaginal cancer in women. The Human Papillomavirus is used to prevent such diseases.

Transmission and infection from HPV

The symptoms of the HPV infection usually develop years after the first contact. Therefore, there is a huge possibility of transmission of the virus during intimate. HPV virus may be of a high-risk variety or a low-risk variety. The high-risk HPV produces two proteins. These deactivate the tumour suppressing genes. This leads to abnormal growth of cells that causes cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common form of HPV infection.

In India over 1,22,000 women are diagnosed annually from HPV related cancers. Of them, 67,000 women die annually. Thus, India has the highest HPV related deaths in the world. Using HPV vaccination when a person becomes sexually active is the only preventive method.

HPV Vaccine

HPV vaccine is used to produce antibodies against the virus that prevent them from infecting the cells. It contains virus-like particles. These are not infectious despite having the structure of a virus. The vaccine promotes antibody production and prevents future infections. HPV vaccine is quite effective if an individual is immunised before becoming sexually active. The vaccination requires three shots given over a period of 6 months if you are beetween age 13-26. All girls before marriage should take this vaccine. It is single best vaccine which can prevent genital cancer in women.

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Typhoid Fever Vaccine - All You Should Be Aware Of!

Typhoid Fever Vaccine - All You Should Be Aware Of!

Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease caused by a bacteria Salmonella typhi. It spreads through consuming food or water that has been contaminated by stool of an infected person. The bacteria spread rapidly through your blood and causes a range of ailments.

It can cause bleeding in the intestine and perforations. This results in stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, and sepsis. Repair of intestinal damage may require surgery. In less frequent cases, typhoid can result in inflammation of muscles, linings, and valves of the heart. It can also cause pneumonia, meningitis, kidney infection, bladder infection, and inflammation of the pancreas. It may also result in delirium.

Symptoms-

The symptoms of typhoid infection start appearing within 1 to 3 weeks depending upon the virulence of the infection. The common symptoms are-

• High fever
• A headache
• Weakness
• Confusion
Agitation
Loss of appetite
• Red spotting on skin

Vaccination-

Vaccination is the most effective measure to prevent typhoid. There are two methods of vaccination- inactivated typhoid vaccine shot and an oral dose of live typhoid vaccine. One dose of inactivated typhoid vaccine is enough to protect you against the infection. A booster dose may be required every 2 years. You must consume four doses of live vaccine every alternate day. The capsule must be consumed orally, at least one hour before a meal. A booster may be required every 5 years.

What to know before immunisation-

• The inactivated vaccine should not be used in children below 2 years. The live vaccine is not recommended for use in children below 6 years.
• You should wait to get live typhoid vaccine if you are suffering from a pre-existing fever or infection. If you are on antibiotics, you must not take the oral vaccine until 3 days of discontinuing the medicine.
• People with immunodeficiency diseases such as AIDS should take inactivated typhoid vaccine shots instead of the live vaccine.
• Anti-malarial medicines should not be used until 10 days of a typhoid shot.
• Extremely serious side effects resulting from typhoid fever vaccine are very rare. It is generally safe for use.
• The inactivated vaccine may cause fever in 1 person in 100. It can also cause a mild headache, stomach pain, rashes in a person. Although serious allergic reactions are extremely rare, notify the doctor as soon as possible.

Typhoid affects 21 million people worldwide and causes 2,20,000 deaths annually. It can be fatal if it goes untreated. Therefore, it is crucial for people living in a typhoid prone zone to be immunised.

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