vaccines for babies

vaccines for babies: types and uses

Which are the commonly administered vaccines in babies in India?

Babies usually receive many vaccines within the first nine months of their birth, vital for their survival. Protection from infectious diseases is one of the main reasons for vaccinating babies, but the indisputable fact is that vaccinating keeps the baby healthy. It is equally important to maintain the schedule of the Vaccination chart of babies.

Commonly used vaccines for babies:

BCG vaccine (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin)– 

This vaccine contains live bacteria that have been weakened ( attenuated ). It acts as a protective shield against tuberculosis. A single dose is usually administered, and this protects for up to 20 years. This vaccine reduces the risk of getting tuberculosis by about 50 %.

Hepatitis B vaccine 

it is an inactivated vaccine used to prevent a liver disease called Hepatitis B infection. This vaccine is usually given as 2, 3, or 4 shots, with the first dose given at birth. The protection lasts for a long time, but booster doses are recommended for those at risk of occupational exposure.

Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) – 

This is an attenuated vaccine to prevent poliomyelitis ( polio ). It involves administering weakened poliovirus by mouth and is easier to administer when compared to IPV. The immunity initiated by this vaccine is lifelong.

Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) –

 This is an inactivated vaccine. It consists of inactivated poliovirus and is given via injection to prevent poliomyelitis. IPV is much safer than OPV, but the duration of protection is lesser than that provided by OPV.

Pentavalent vaccine – 

This is a combination vaccine in which five vaccines are conjugated into 1. It offers protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis ( whooping cough ), hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenza type B.

Rotavirus vaccine – 

It is a live attenuated vaccine that protects against rotavirus infections. These infections are one of the leading causes of severe diarrhea in young children. This vaccine is not recommended for use in children over two years of age.

The measles vaccine ( MMR vaccine ) 

MMR is also a live attenuated vaccine and offers protection against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. Measles is an infectious disease that starts with a cough, runny nose, and fever. Two doses of the vaccine are about 97 % effective in preventing measles.

Vitamin A vaccine – 

This vaccine is given prophylaxis against blindness in children due to vitamin A deficiency. Around nine doses of this vaccine are given to infants between 9 to 59 months of age.

The DPT vaccine ( Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus ) 

DPT is a combination vaccine against three infectious diseases – diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus. It contains diphtheria toxoid and tetanus toxoid and killed whole cells of the bacteria that causes pertussis. It provides 95 % protection from diphtheria, 80 % to 85 % from pertussis, and 100 % protection from tetanus.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.