Humans are always at a risk of developing infectious diseases as they are regularly exposed to microbes in the environment. While treating these diseases is now possible, preventing them is always considered a gold standard. This awareness, in turn, brings in the concept of vaccination or immunization. Vaccination must be done at the correct time and age to ensure that the vaccine elicits the desired effect on the child’s immune system. The Health Ministry approves the National Immunization Schedule of India (vaccination schedule), and hence this must be adhered to while vaccinating babies in India.
Vaccination schedule: Month-wise and year-wise
- The BCG vaccine must also be given immediately after birth, but you can provide this before the baby turns one year of age.
- However, it is advisable to administer it within the first few hours after the child’s birth.
- Apart from this, the first dose of OPV and the first injection of Hepatitis B vaccine must also be administered to the baby. The site of injection is usually the thigh, and this region may swell and redden following vaccination. These symptoms subside over time and do not cause any problems to the baby.
0 to 3 months of age:
- the baby must be vaccinated with the other two doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine and the oral polio vaccine. Ensure it within the first three months of birth.
- When the baby turns six weeks (or 1.5 months old), you must give the first dose of the injectable pentavalent vaccine. This vaccine offers protection against five diseases. Of which three are highly contagious, thus making it vital to vaccinate the infant during this period.
- The first dose of injectable polio vaccine ( IPV ) is usually given along with the pentavalent vaccine.
- The rotavirus vaccine is also administered during this time frame, but this is not mandatory, unlike the other vaccines. Three doses of this vaccine are usually given at one – and – half – months, two – and – half – months, and three – and – half – months of age. The remaining doses of the pentavalent vaccine are also given as per this schedule itself.
- The booster dose of IPV is given at the age of 14 weeks, which may cause swelling at the injection site and pain. These, however, do not cause any long–lasting side effects.
9 to 12 months of age:
- Once the baby turns nine months of age, the vaccination against measles is done. Children are also given the first oral dose of vitamin A vaccine to avoid this deficiency in the future.
- The child must be administered with all the vaccines mentioned in the National Immunization Schedule by the time he/she turns one year of age.
16 to 24 months of age: vaccination schedule
- Finally, when the baby turns 16 months of age, the first dose of the DPT vaccine and the OPV booster, and the 2nd dose of the measles vaccine are given.
- You must also give the first booster dose of vitamin A before the child turns two years of age. Children are also advised to eat a healthy and balanced diet rich in vitamin A to ensure a healthy life.
- Vaccination chart for babies in India.
- Let us know about Vaccination in Baby-Do’s and don’ts.
- Are you aware that which vaccines are given to babies?
- Vaccines: Definition, Action, and Development