In the last 3 editions, we have discussed the history of vaccines and how they were developed and how long they last and how they work.
IS IT IMPORTANT TO GIVE ALL TYPES OF VACCINATIONS?
It is important to know that the human body has always been capable of fighting and defeating many types of bacteria or viruses even before the evolution of the vaccine, but it has been noticed that either the infections become more virulent or some viruses change their form into more harmful ones. Also new infections have been identified and isolated; accordingly the need to be immunised is of the utmost importance.
It is very beneficial to give all the vaccines in a comprehensive and scientific manner as discussed with your pediatrician.
WHAT ABOUT THE INTEGRITY AND VALIDTY OF THE VACCINES?
Vaccines should be kept in what is know as the “Cold Chain“ from the moment of production till it is delivered to the patient. Most of the vaccines are kept in a temperature between 2 – 8 degrees centigrade except the oral polio drops which are kept at a temperature below freezing.
Vaccines can be kept and given till their expiry date as long as these conditions of transportation and storing are intact.
WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR VACCINES?
Most of us know some vaccines as poliomyelitis vaccine, measles vaccine, rubella vaccine, diphtheria vaccine and many others. Lately new vaccines have been introduced as the vaccine against Rotavirus as well as the vaccine against Pneumococcal infection and the vaccine against Human Papilloma Virus.
These have been the vaccines emerging in the last 10 years and probably more will be appearing.
HOW EARLY CAN VACCINES BE STARTED?
Vaccines can be started as early as the first day of life but it usually depends on the type of vaccine and the condition of the newborn (fullterm or preterm and normal body weight or low birth weight and whether he has any congenital abnormalities). It is variable according to each country as well, and it should be discussed fully with your pediatrician.
ARE THERE ANY CONTRA- INDICATIONS TO VACCINES?
Generally, there are no contra- indications to vaccinations except the presence of fever which indicates some kind of illness that should be treated promptly first before giving the desired vaccine. This is why each child should be examined fully before administering any vaccine to avoid any adverse side effects.
Finally, every parent should be very grateful to the new discoveries and advancements lately, regarding those vaccines which are beneficial and life saving in many situations as well as improving quality of life. Every and each child should be followed up promptly regarding his vaccines and a full comprehensive record should be always kept with his parents.
For any further enquiries please contact me on:
Contact number: 012 314 95 93
Or send your questions to the Red Sea Bulletin.
Dr Rafeek Ramzy
Pediatrician and Neonatologist
Member of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)