Your Baby’s Vaccination 0 to 4 Months
Vaccines were developed to prevent infant mortality and to wipe out epidemics that used to wipe out whole communities. The immune system in babies is not yet developed at the time of birth and babies are prone to diseases. In fact at one time diseases like polio, whooping cough, measles and tuberculosis used to kill a lot of children until vaccines were developed. Vaccinations reduced incidents of certain diseases, like polio to the point of extinction but measles and whooping cough and tuberculosis are still prevalent and they can still affect your baby. (CDC). If you are breastfeeding, your breast milk protects your baby for the first year and you still need vaccinations to protect your baby after the first year.
Vaccinations protect your baby now and will keep protecting him/her later in life. Certain diseases might not be common where you live, like polio and diphtheria in the USA, but that does not mean they no longer exist. If we stop vaccinating, the handful of cases that we get in a year can easily spread the infection and soon it will become a huge problem again. It is safer for everyone if we keep vaccinating till we are sure that the diseases do not exist anymore. (CDC)
Another thing is that diseases that are rare in some countries are still common in other countries. The development of HIV, for example, brought with it increased cases of tuberculosis which at one time had become rare even in the Third World. (TB facts). That means your child may still be exposed to tuberculosis now or later in life when he/she travels or when he comes into contact with international travellers. It is therefore wise to vaccinate your baby against such diseases.
Vaccination is simply introducing into the body a very small (and safe) amount of the bug of a certain disease. This prompts the body’s natural disease fighting mechanism (the immune system) to develop antibodies. Antibodies fight diseases and there are antibodies for each disease. Therefore the baby develops antibodies for each disease for which it receives vaccination. With these weapons (antibodies) in place the body can strongly fight any future infections. (Med Broadcast).
Each country has its own schedule of what vaccines babies must receive. We discuss here the vaccination schedule for babies in Ireland. This schedule applies to babies born on or after 1 October 2016. Baby vaccinations are free in Ireland.
Rotavirus: This vaccine is given at the age of 2 months and 4 months. It protects against rotavirus, a major cause of diarrhea. It is given as drops in the mouth.
The 6 in 1 vaccine: This vaccine is given as an injection in the leg to protect against diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib), hepatitis B (liver infection), pertussis (whooping cough), polio and tetanus. The first shot is given at 2 months and the second at 4 months.
The MenB vaccine to protect against Meningococcal B disease is given at ages 2 months and 4 months.
The PCV vaccine to protect against pneumococcal disease is given at the age 2 months.
As mentioned above this schedule is for Ireland. For the UK vaccination schedule read here. In the USA babies get a shot for hepatitis B at birth and in many other countries, babies get the BCG/Tuberculosis vaccine at birth due to rising incidents of TB in those countries. Then the babies subsequently receive the other vaccines starting at 2 months. Check your country’s schedule and enter the schedule in your Jinga Life account. Once you schedule all the vaccines you will not forget them. Remember to record in your Jinga Life each time your baby goes for its vaccination. Record too the baby’s reactions to each vaccine. This is the foundation of your baby’s medical record.
Going for these early vaccinations will safely set a good foundation for your baby’s immune system. Therefore as a wise and loving mom, you should get your baby vaccinated at the right time.