Children are our precious heritage. Let us protect them by immunizing them against disease.

To protect infants and children, we immunize them against diseases such as, polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella.

Polio is a virus disease which causes paralysis. 1] in 10 people who get this disease used to die from it. Because of the vaccine, the disease has been almost eliminated. Should we not protect our children, we would have this dreadful disease back.

For polio an oral vaccine is given at the ages of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 18 months and 4 years. Side effects are very rare.

DPT is a vaccine for diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus.

Diphtheria is a very serious disease from which children used to die by choking. Because of vaccination, this disease is not seen these days.

Tetanus is also referred to as lockjaw. It occurs when wounds are infected with tetanus bacteria, which are found in dirt. Mothers in labour and newborn babies used to die from this. Because of vaccination, this is rare now.

Whooping cough (pertussis) consists of severe spasms of coughing with a whoop in the end. It is very serious in young children and can lead to serious inflammation and brain damage.

The vaccine for whooping cough is a very good one. Unfortunately, it has gone into disrepute because of discussions on TV shows, such as, those of Phil Donohue.

Please note that it is only in 1 in 310,000 shots that brain damage may occur. For every 1,000 reported whooping cough cases, 40 develop convulsions and 4 develop inflammation of the brain.

The vaccine is given at the ages of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 18 months and 4 years. Booster shots are given every 10 years in the United States and 3 years in endemic areas of tetanus, such as, India.

MMR vaccine is for measles, mumps and rubella.

Measles is the most serious of common childhood diseases. It used to Cause encephalitis (brain

Inflammation) and pneumonia.

Rubella causes damage to the fetus in the lst trimester. (Ist three months of pregnancy).

Mumps cause fever, headache, and inflammation of the salivary glands.

MMR is preventing these diseases and the vaccination is carried out at 15 months of age.

 In the future it is possible that chicken pox vaccine may be combined with MMR (varicella).

Article extracted from this publication >> January 11 1985