Birth vaccines: Vaccination given at birth

Birth vaccines: Vaccination given at birth

The vaccination is process which helps the child to develop immunity to fight the various diseases. Let us discuss today the immunization needed at birth. Here at birth means as early as possible after birth.

Vaccination at birth

So which vaccines are needed for child at birth?

· At birth three most important vaccines are needed and they are routinely given to baby before discharge from hospital.

· They include polio oral vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine and BCG vaccine.

About oral polio vaccine:

Polio used to be major health concern few years ago causing a considerable mortality and morbidity. The vaccination which was promoted by WHO and various international organizations in support of governments worldwide in many countries now the polio disease is near extinction. The largest achievement in the medical history as you may call it. Still some sporadic cases are detected in few countries like Afganistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. There is still risk of disease getting spread to other area so this birth vaccination polio is still continued. This is live attenuated vaccine currently having only two strains of polio namely type 1 and type2.

This vaccine is given to all stable and healthy babies as early as after birth, generally before discharge from hospital. If baby is sick at birth and needs NICU may be delayed till baby is stable. This vaccine is preferably given within 15 days of birth. The vaccine is cheap and does not need presence of specialist as it is given orally. Only required thing is vaccine should be stored in cold chain maintained very strictly. There are no or very few side effects. This vaccine is contraindicated to those having HIV AIDS stage 3-4 disease. All other babies of mother with HIV should get this vaccine like all other babies.

About Hepatitis B vaccine:

Hepatitis B vaccine is given to prevent Hepatitis B disease. This vaccine should be given as early as possible after birth. If mother is HBsAg positive this vaccine should be given within 12 hours of birth with anti HBV immunoglobulin to prevent infection to neonate. Smaller the age at the time of infection more are the chances to get chronic infection and its complications after years. So this vaccine is given as early as possible after birth along with polio oral vaccine. For babies of HBsAg negative mothers this vaccine can be given before discharge from hospital. This vaccine is given on thigh anterolateral aspect intramuscular injection dose 0.5 ml. The next doses are given at 6-10-14 weeks of age. If the baby was less than 2 kg at the time of vaccination that dose should not be counted and an additional dose should be given for such baby.

About BCG vaccine:

BCG vaccine is given to prevent complicated life threatening tuberculosis disease. This vaccine is given on shoulder deltoid region. This vaccine is given intradermally that is the dermal layer of the skin. This procedure needs certain skill. The vaccine should be given as early as possible after birth for its maximum benefit. It is usually given before discharge from hospital. After this vaccination in 92 percent children the papule is developed at the injection site in 4 weeks which may grow for few weeks and then subsides by its own. It may leave a small scar that may be permanent in many patients. This is normal reaction after the vaccination. 

So after birth OPV – oral polio vaccine, Hepatitis B and BCG these are important vaccination to be given to babies.

Read more about vaccination

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