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Immunisation Schedule
When your child is born, he will begin an immunisation (vaccination) programme that will protect him from diseases in the future. Immunisations are either given by injection or by mouth. The vaccine is too weak to cause the disease and works by either encouraging the im¬mune system to produce its own antibodies which will protect your child from that disease in the future or introduces antibodies into the body which give protection against disease.
What are the risks and side effects?
Although immunisation is generally considered safe, your baby might feel unwell after one of his shots, He may have a slight fever for one day and so usually, doctors prescribe paracetemol for you to give to your baby when his temperature rises.
Hepatitis B is a serious disease, 20% of the population of South East Asia. It is transmitted via body fluids so can be caught through blood transfusions, sexual intercourse and can pass from mother to baby. If a mother is a carrier, her baby should be given an injection of hepatitis immunoglobulin shortly after his birth, followed by the Hepatitis B vaccine. He may need a booster at one year of age. The vaccine proŽvides protection for 5 to 10 years. Severe side effects are very rare. There may be some discomfort at the injection site.
Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT) are given together in a single vaccine. Mild reactions within the first 48 hours following the injection are common. They include tenderness around the injection site, slight fever, irritability and lethargy. In rare cases a severe reaction can occur within 72 hours of having the injection. If your baby is crying constantly, has a very high fever, has a convulsion or the limb where he had the injection is very red and swollen, you should conŽtact your doctor immediately.
Polio is given as an oral vaccine either as a few drops into a baby's mouth or on a lump of sugar. Polio vaccine is a live vaccine and will be present in your baby's nappy for up to one month after having the vaccine. You should take special care when changing your baby's nappy and ensure nobody who has never had the polio vaccine comes into contact with your baby's faeces.
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine sometimes causes mild side effects five to seven days after having the injection. These may include a slight fever, runny nose and a mild rash. The vaccine contains traces of egg so if your child is allergic to egg you should advise your doctor who will provide an egg-free MMR vaccine.