Vaccinations and Immunization for Infants, Babies, and Children

General Idea

From the immunization against Hepatitis B at birth to the age of 6 months old baby, typically every month in between must have additional vaccinations. Vaccinations allow children to grow up healthily, you must not forget the fundamental vaccinations. And for those which are optional, take a detailed inspection and then decide if they are needed.

Basic Information about Vaccination

Essential Vaccinations

There are some mothers who avoid vaccinations due to fear of the possible side effects, but this is a mistake. Some vaccinations are essential. It may be the case that vaccinations have been forgotten or overlooked, but this is not a significant problem. Simply make arrangements as soon as possible to have them administered.

Infant Health Record

It is ok to go to a health center near your home. When you go, remember to take your child’s health records and make a documentation of the vaccination. This then must be kept for over 20 years. Because there are so many vaccines that need to be administered, there is no need to duplicate. However, do not delay the boosters as this will cause the effect to be greatly diminished. So the details on the health records are of primary importance.

Morning Vaccinations

Regardless of whether you are going to the doctors for a vaccination or another reason, it is best to go during morning. This is because in the afternoon, patients with all manner of illnesses will flood to the clinic which could in turn infect your child. Furthermore, if the vaccination is administered in the morning and there are any abnormalities or side effects, they can be treated the same day.

Delayed Vaccination Due to Fever

If the child has a cold or fever, then the vaccination should be delayed by a few days. In case they are immunized whilst sick and the baby develops fever or seizures, then it is unclear if this is a result of the original illness or as a side effect to the vaccination. It is ok to delay for a few days until the baby is well again and administer the vaccination.

Waiting Room Observation

Due to the possibility of side effects, it is best to remain in the waiting room for 20 minutes for observation. Continue to observe for another 3 hours after returning home.

Avoid Playing Energetically

Do not allow the baby to play too energetically on the day of the vaccination and the following day. They need plenty of rest. Not only this, they will not be able to bathe during the first day. This is because the area where the vaccine was given will touch water and the baby will feel exhausted. If the area comes into contact with anything dirty, it is still possible that it will be dirty so it is best not to play too much at this time. That is even though you may use water to wipe it clean.

Vaccination Area Becomes Swollen

It is common for the area where the vaccination was administered to become swollen. If it is swollen or painful, moisten it with cold water and compress with a damp towel. In case it swells to an excessive degree and causes discomfort, go to a hospital for a consultation.

Fever or Seizures

In any event that after the vaccinations the baby’s temperature rises significantly, you must go to the hospital for a consultation. If the baby develops a fever during the night, take an antipyretic and wait until morning for a consultation. If the fever is too serious, go for medical advice immediately.

Vaccination Schedules

0-1 weekHepatitis B
0-4 weeksBCG
1 monthsHepatitis B
2 monthsDPT, Poliomyelitis, Hepatitis B (choice of vaccination type)
4 monthsDPT, Poliomyelitis
6 monthsDPT, Poliomyelitis, Hepatitis B (choice of vaccination type)
12-15 months  Measles, Mumps, German measles (MMR)
18 monthDPT
4-6 yearsDPT, Poliomyelitis, MMR
14-16 yearsTD (every 10 years)

BCG

 Disease Prevention: Tuberculosis

 Vaccination Time: Within 4 weeks after birth 

Vaccination Method: Injection of live vaccine

Side Effects: Very few will suffer from swollen lymph glands

Overview

BCG can increase the resistance to Tuberculosis. Most people are vaccinated by an injection to the arm. Although it is not possible to ascertain whether or not protection is absolute, it can protect for a year from Tuberculosis infection and associated complications such as Meningitis or Miliary Tuberculosis etc. Do not avoid the vaccination because you fear the side effects. The vaccine must be given within 4 weeks after birth. Formerly a booster would be given before going to infant school, but this has now been stopped.

More information

Although there are typically no side effects, there are 1-10 people in every 100 in which the site of vaccination will swell and become infected. If it is the case that after the vaccination there are no immediate effects, but after one month the area becomes infected and scarred and even the lymph glands also become swollen, the area will also become painful. After a few months when the area has scabbed over it will be fine. There is no need to disinfect or wipe, just leave it alone. But if the swelling is excessive and the infected area is very hot, you must seek medical treatment. When severe, the Tuberculosis in the BCG vaccine will spread to the whole body. The area will ulcerate, and will have local infections for the lymph glands and osteomyelitis etc.

In principle, this vaccine should be administered within 4 weeks after birth. But if there are skin problems, nutritional problems, fever, weakened immune system, burn injury, the vaccination can be postponed. If the appointed time has been missed, the BCG vaccine can be given together with DPT, Poliomyelitis.

TIP: Who can’t receive BCG?

1. High fever

2. Suffering from serious illness (jaundice) or with weakened immune system

3. Birth defects (heart problems, asthma, kidney problems)

4. Underweight Baby (below 2500g)

5. Suspected infection of Tuberculosis (first do a diagnosis check)

6. Severe measles or skin conditions

Hepatitis B

Disease Prevention: Hepatitis B

Vaccination Time: 0, 1 and 6 months after birth, OR

0, 1 and 2 months after birth

Vaccination Method: Injection into muscle

Side Effects: Nothing significant

The vaccine will be given in the thigh, and will be a little more painful than other vaccinations. Taiwan has one of the highest rates of Hepatitis B infections. Therefore there are many vaccines available, but it is best to use the same one multiple times. The first vaccination should be administered at birth, the second at 1 month old, and the third at 2 months old or at 6 months old. Regardless of which vaccine you use, it is best to complete the course of vaccinations by the 6th month. Sometimes the immunity has not developed after the third vaccination, so the immune system must be checked after 9 months. If immunity is lacking, the whole course must be repeated.

DPT

Disease Prevention: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis

Vaccination Time: 2, 4 and 6 months after birth, 18 months after birth,

booster at 4-6 years old

Vaccination Method: Injection

Side Effects: Injected area will become swollen

The official name is DTaP, which is simplified to DPT. This is taken from the first letter of the English words Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus. The three vaccines are mixed together so only one vaccine is required. Typically this vaccination is given 2, 4 and 6 months after birth with a booster given after 18 months and a final dose given between 4 and 6 years old. 1-3 days after vaccination, the area will swell up. There may be fever and pain. In most cases there will not be any further abnormalities. In a few cases the fever will escalate to over 40 degrees, cause shock or seizures. It is best to vaccinate in the morning and allow the baby plenty of rest.

Poliomyelitis

Disease Prevention: Poliomyelitis

Vaccination Time: 2, 4 and 6 months after birth

Vaccination Method: Oral

Side Effects: Nothing significant

Poliomyelitis has two methods of vaccinations: injection and oral. Mostly it is taken orally in syrup that is dropped into the mouth. The basic vaccination is done 2, 4 and 6 months after birth with a booster given when 4-6 years old. There are typically no side effects, but will occasionally display Poliomyelitis symptoms. If there is a family history of weakened immune system then it is best to refuse vaccination.

MMR– 3 in 1 Vaccine

Disease Prevention: Measles, Mumps and German Measles

Vaccination Time: 12-15 months after birth, booster at 4-6 years old

Vaccination Method: Injection

✧ Side Effects: Fever or measles for 7-14 days

This vaccine is a combination of Measles, Mumps and German measles, to be administered 12 months after birth along with the Chicken pox vaccine. If there is a gap of 4 weeks between the successive vaccinations, then a booster is not required at 4-6 years old. For every 10 people vaccinated, there is 1 that will not be effective. Therefore it is beneficial to have a booster at 4-6 years old. If it is the case that the booster was not administered, at least have the booster before the age of 12. Because MMR uses a living vaccine similar to other vaccines, it is best to separate by at least one month with other vaccines. Side effects are fever and joint pain.

Optional Vaccinations

2 monthsHib-type Meningitis
4 monthsHib-type Meningitis
6 monthsHib-type Meningitis
12 monthsChicken Pox, Influenza, Hepatitis A
12-15 monthsHib-type Meningitis
12-24 monthsJapanese encephalitis (twice)
24 monthsHepatitis A, Typhoid (at 6 years old can choose between injection or take orally)
6,12 yearsJapanese encephalitis injection (1 time each)

Cerebrospinal Meningitis

Disease Prevention: Hib-type Meningitis

Vaccination Time: 2, 4 and 6 months after birth, booster at 15 months

Vaccination Method: Injection

 Side Effects: Nothing significant

Typically this vaccine uses type B influenza hemophile bacteria “Hib-type Meningitis” vaccine. Because influenza hemophile bacteria can cause pain similar to cerebrospinal meningitis, septicaemia, pneumonia, inflammation of larynx, arthritis etc. all of which are dangerous. This is very rare but if you suffer from inflammation of the brain tissue, this is life threatening. So American and Europe all consider this to be an essential vaccination.

There are many babies that suffer from Hib-type meningitis. If you chose to vaccinate, it is best to start the course at 2 months old. Prevention rate is high and side effects are minimal, but the cost of the vaccine is a little expensive. 3 vaccinations are required at the age of 2, 4 and 6 months old, and a fourth vaccine at 15 months old. There are different types of medicines. Some only need to be administered once at 18 months old, and others that can be administered once at 15 months old.

Influenza

Disease Prevention: Influenza, Otitis media

Vaccination Time: 6-35 months after birth, 2nd vaccination after 4

week interval

Vaccination Method: Injection into muscle

Side Effects: The area vaccinated may swell, be painful or itchy

This vaccine can be given 6 months after birth, it is best to administer 9-12 months. That is before the influenza season is most prevalent. It is very cheap with few side effects. Many people see this as an essential vaccine.

Influenza is different to a cold, yet the symptoms of the two are the same. Influenza sufferers will also have otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear), pneumonia, bronchitis and other complications. Vaccinating can reduce the risk of these complications. If you overlook the best time for vaccination, it can still be administered 1-2 months before the influenza season. After two weeks, the body’s immunity will increase and reach its strongest level 1 month later. Immunity can last for approximately 1 year.

It is best to refuse vaccination if your child is allergic to eggs or if there is a history of side effects in previous influenza vaccinations. If there is a fever or cold condition present within 24 hours of vaccination, this may cause complications so it is best to consult with a doctor beforehand.

Chicken Pox

Disease Prevention: Chicken Pox

Vaccination Time: 12 months after birth

Vaccination Method: Injection into muscle

Side Effects: Nothing significant

Although chickenpox is a highly infectious disease, it still isn’t considered as an essential for vaccination. The vaccine will cause the condition to quickly improve, but will also leave behind scars. Even if chickenpox is in circulation, the baby cannot be vaccinated until 1 year old. Even after vaccination it is still possible to be infected, but the vaccine will cause the condition to be less severe and the blisters will be smaller.

After contact with someone infected with chickenpox, it is still beneficial to receive the vaccine within 2-3 days. The rate of infection between siblings is 90%. The rate of infection between classmates is around 30%. After being infected for around 1 week, the condition will improve. However, this may still leave scars, so please pay careful attention. One vaccination is sufficient to provide immunity. If over 13 years old, a second vaccine will need to be administered 4-8 weeks after the first dose.

Hepatitis A

Disease Prevention: Hepatitis A

Vaccination Time: 1st dose 12 months after birth, booster after

another 6-12 months

Vaccination Method: Injection

Side Effects: Nothing significant

This vaccine is administered after 1 year old. However, if taken over 2 years old, the immunity will be even stronger, and 6-12 months after the first vaccination a booster will be needed. In the 70’s and 80’s, most adults were immunized. For this reason, Hepatitis was not considered a problem. But by the 90’s, many children lacked this immunity, so from that time onwards it started to be requested.

Children infected with Hepatitis A will show no symptoms other than what appears to be a very slight cold. But in severe cases, it may result in jaundice, hepatitis, fulminant hepatitis, recurrent hepatitis etc. This illness can be very severe and the aftermath is worthy of concern.

Typhoid

Disease Prevention: Typhoid

Vaccination Time: 2 years old or 5-6 years old

Vaccination Method: Injection (2 years old)

​Oral (5-6 years old)

Side Effects: Injection (2 years old)

Typhoid vaccine comes in two forms: tablet and injection. The choice of which is based on the age of the child and the presence of abnormalities. Typically an injection will be given at 2 years old, and tablets will be given for 5-6 year olds.

In past times, simply boiling water would prevent infection. However, in recent times restaurant goers have become infected. People who eat out cannot guarantee they are safe. Therefore, it is best to vaccinate.

Japanese Encephalitis

Disease Prevention: Japanese Encephalitis

Vaccination Time: 12-24 months after birth, booster at 6 and 12 years old

Vaccination Method: Injection

Side Effects: Vaccinated area will swell, hot and cold flushes

7-12 days after being bitten by a mosquito the symptoms will start to appear. Symptoms include high fever, mental retardation and in severe cases will cause delirium or even death. This is a very fearsome disease. After the vaccination, infection is not possible. Vaccination requires 2 doses administered between 12-24 months old, with a gap of 1 week between doses. Then a booster is given at 6 and 12 years old.

If the first dose was administered last year, but the second dose has not yet been given, the basic vaccination procedure must be started from the first stage. That is regardless of the first dose given a year earlier. Also, there are some vaccinations that can be given in two doses separated by one year, but if only the first dose has been administered, and 3 years have passed, then it is best for the whole process of vaccinations to be repeated.

Stephanie
 

Editor in Babiology, mother of two, highly passionate about sharing the pregnancy care and post delivery care learning with the readers.

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