- by Portea Homecare
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- Apr 25 2017
Let’s Learn: Immunization
The World Immunization Week, observed between 24th and 30th of April focuses on creating and increasing awareness on the importance of timely vaccinations. Immunizations save many lives each year, and are universally consented upon as one of the most effective interventional methods. However, in spite of the proven merits of immunization, people either postpone getting immunized or sometimes even do not give it a thought.
Good to start with the basics:
So what exactly is a vaccine?
A vaccine is an antigen (a substance that assists the immune system in creating antibodies in response to it) that builds one’s immunity towards infections and diseases, thereby preventing the disease.
Immunization is the process that renders an individual resistant or immune to infectious diseases, done usually by administering a vaccine. The one misconception concerning immunization is that it only benefits children; however, the fact remains that it covers all age groups. Not only does this process make you resistant to a strain (or a disease, in general), it also ensures that transmission of the same is prevented. What vaccination does it that it gently stimulates the body’s independent immune system, thus revving it up to function at its optimal state. Though babies do get extra immunity from breast feeding, with time, this immunity reduces as the baby’s own immunity starts developing. But its own immune system stays rather weak to combat any infectious affliction. And now immunization becomes all the more crucial. So, this World Immunization Day let us take a pledge to take many preventive diseases head on by getting vaccinated.
Quick Fact: According to the World Health Organization, immunization controls, prevents and eliminates an astounding number of fatal diseases and is calculated to avert about 2-3 million casualties each year.
The Universal Immunization Program in India is certainly one of the largest in the world, in terms of the quantum of vaccines utilized, the number of beneficiaries and geographical area covered.
- Objectives of the 2017 campaign
The primary objective is to increase general awareness among the people about how important it is to get timely vaccinations as well as the role it plays in achieving the goal of 2030 Sustainable Development.
- Why is immunization so important now than ever before?
An increase in the spread of immunization, both geographically and demographically, is incidental to sustainable development by 2030. Immunization is the confluence of health coverage and strong primary-stage care; it lays the platform down for effective health care right at the very onset of a child’s life. It also helps to control viral hepatitis, reduce anti-biotic resistance and improve both antenatal (prior to birth or during a pregnancy) as well as newborn care.
- Most frequently asked questions
- If the baby gets the antibodies from its mother, then what is the need for vaccination?
The antibodies the baby gets from its mother generally don’t last beyond a point of time. This renders the baby susceptible to a variety of infections. Also, vaccination provides that extra sheath of protection against a wide range of diseases.
2.What is the cost involved?
Immunization is done absolutely free of cost in any government primary health care institution.
3. Why can immunization get delayed?
There are quite a few reasons that delay this process; some of them being
- The child has a temperature
- An adverse reaction towards another vaccine
- Allergic reaction to eggs
- History of fits (convulsions and body tremors)
- Cancer and other illnesses that directly impact one’s immunity, such as HIV/AIDS
- Is vaccination required if the child is healthy and isn’t suffering from any disease?
Here, one should remember that immunization gives the cushion coating of protection before the infection or disease fully develops and spreads. It is like a buffer that prevents the disease from manifesting in the individual in the very first place.
- What about any side effect?
Vaccines usually don’t carry any side effect. However, redness or mild and temporary swelling can be observed. Nevertheless, the chances of this happening are next to negligible.
- Can the immunization process be carried out if the baby has missed a few doses?
Yes, absolutely. Not only can the process be adhered to, it is advisable to do the same.
- Vaccination Coverage
Immunization prevents about 3 million fatalities every year caused due to pertussis, diphtheria, measles, tetanus, etc. But, even then, almost half a million deaths can still be prevented with the improvement of global vaccination coverage. But one can draw heart from the fact that immunization coverage hasn’t dipped since the last few years. In the year 2015, almost 86% of the infants in the world were administered the DTP3 vaccine that provides protection against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. These infectious diseases, if not checked on time, could result in disability or even turn out to be fatal.
- Haemophilus influenza: The type B of the same is the cause behind pneumonia and meningitis. This vaccine, known as Hib, was introduced to 191 nations by the end of 2015 and its global coverage is calculated to be around 64%. However, the disparity in its rate of penetration into the general populace is glaringly alarming; in America, it is about 90% whereas just a meager 56% and 25% in South-Eastern Asia and the Western Pacific regions respectively.
- Hepatitis B: The antidote to this infection of the liver was introduced to as many as 185 countries around the end of 2015. The world-wide coverage is believed to be at 83% whereas a staggering 90% in the regions around the Western Pacific.
- HPV: The most common kind of cancer associated to one’s reproductive tract, HPV can cause genital warts and different types of cancers (cervical cancer being the most common of them all) in both the genders. Towards the end of 2015, the vaccine for HPV had been introduced to as many as 66 countries.
- Meningitis A: This refers to an infection of the brain and is often fatal. The vaccine was introduced in 2010 and by the end of 2015, majority of the African population (residing in African countries) had been vaccinated with it.
- Measles: A tremendously contagious viral infection, measles, if not treated on time, can lead to encephalitis, blindness and even death.
- Mumps: It is caused by an extremely contagious virus and leads to redness and swelling accompanied by pain right under one’s ears. Headaches, fever and muscle aches are commonly observed as well. Towards the turn of 2015, vaccination for measles had been introduced to almost 121 countries.
- Pneumococcal diseases: These include meningitis, pneumonia, otitis media, bronchitis and sinusitis. The worldwide coverage for this particular vaccine was calculated to be around 37% by the end of 2015 after it had been introduced to almost 129 nations.
- Tetanus: This is the result of an overgrowth of a bacterium that happens primarily due to the lack of oxygen, such as in unclean wounds and one’s umbilical cord if it isn’t cleaned. Vaccination for neonatal and maternal tetanus has already been introduced to 106 nations.
When can Portea help?
Portea offers vaccination against the following diseases. Read on to know more:
Symptoms include fatigue, sudden weight loss, fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, pain in the abdomen, jaundice, mild to moderate joint pain, etc. vaccination for Hepatitis B is recommended in cases wherein you are sharing a common space with somebody infected with it, have sexual intercourse with a partner infected with the same or if you are suffering from chronic diseases of the liver.
Commonly exhibited symptoms are sore throat, cough, fever, headaches and red eyes. What H1N1 does is that it aggravates already existing conditions such as heart diseases or asthma. Though there is no absolute cure to it, there are available vaccines that can prevent the condition from developing.
The ‘Varicella Zoster’ virus is responsible for this highly contagious infection. Itchy blisters/rashes on the skin accompanied by headaches and fever are the most commonly observed symptoms. The cosmetic downside of chicken pox is that it can leave behind permanent scars on the skin. However, preventable vaccinations are available.
More common in areas that are affected by floods, typhoid is usually transmitted through coming in direct contact with stagnant and unclean water. A very high body temperature, headaches and persistent diarrhea are common complaints as well. However, you need not worry if you have your typhoid vaccination dose administered.
The STD Human Papilloma Virus is the primary cause behind cervical cancer. Women in the age group of 11-35 years are the most suitable candidates for this vaccine. The vaccination schedule for cervical cancer consists of a dose of three injections spread over a period of 6 months.
Commonly reported symptoms associated with pneumonia include coughs, troubled breathing and fever. Although children and the elderly are two of the most affected age groups, anybody with weakened immunity could be the primary target. Nevertheless, the vaccination for pneumonia can certainly prevent it from developing in the first place.
Portea’s trained nurses visit you at your doorstep so that vaccination never becomes a hassle for you. Portea extends the facility to corporate workplaces for employees as well. Vaccination for H1N1/flu virus, chicken pox, HAV, HBV, pneumonia, cholera, meningitis, typhoid, MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) and cervical cancer/HPV are readily available. Other vaccines can be made available upon request.
Note We at Medikoe provide you with the best healthcare articles written and endorsed by experts of the healthcare industry to boost you knowledge. However, we strongly recommend that users consult a doctor or concerned service provider for expert diagnosis before acting on this information.