What Are The Recommended Childhood Vaccinations

An article mentioning the recommended childhood vaccinations and which diseases are covered.

Recommended childhood vaccinations change periodically, so always check with your pediatrician for the latest information. A vaccine helps the body create antibodies for various diseases. Most of the time, the body produces its own antibodies, but does not always make enough of them in time to stop the disease. By increasing the amount of antibodies in the body, the disease can be lessened or prevented.

The Haemophilus Influenzae Type B vaccine or Hib works against bacterial infections. One of problems this bacteria can cause is meningitis, which is an inflammation of the cover for the brain. The bacteria can also infection the covering around the heart, muscles, blood and joints. If the flap of tissue at the back of the throat gets infected with this bacteria, epiglottitis can occur. The epiglottis can swell to the point where it blocks the windpipe and interferes with breathing.

The DTP or DTaP vaccine is a single shot combination for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. DTaP is a newer version with the pertussis component modified from whole cell to acellular for fewer side effects. Diphtheria is an infection of the mouth, nose and throat. Tetanus is an infection that is caused by a bacteria that is found on rusty metal or in the dirt or gravel. It causes muscle spams which can be deadly if the breathing muscles are affected. Pertussis, also called whooping cough, is caused by another bacteria that fills up the lungs with mucus. The severe cough can last for up to two months.

The polio vaccine protects against the disease polio. It can paralyze the legs and chest. There are two versions of the vaccine. The OPV or oral polio vaccine is given by mouth. It does contain a weakened polio virus and has on rare occasions caused vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP). The IPV or inactivated polio vaccine is an injection. A combination of the two types can be used as well.

The MMR vaccine is another single shot combination that covers measles, mumps and rubella (german measles). Measles is a contagious disease causing a high fever, cough and a rash over the body. Mumps causing swelling under the jaw where the salivary glands are located. Fever and headache may accompany the disease. Mumps too can cause meningitis or hearing loss. Rubella is most dangerous to pregnant women but mild for most children.

The Hepatitis B vaccine works to prevent hepatitis B or serum hepatitis which causes tiredness and jaundice. It can also affect the liver and cause it to stop working. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) started recommending this vaccination very early because incidents of the disease are increasing.

The chicken pox vaccine works to protect against chickenpox. Chickenpox is a virus that causes a fever and itchy rash. Most children will not have a severe reaction to it but there are some who should not get the vaccination. Make sure the pediatrician knows if the child has eczema, asthma or a weakened immune system.

The pneumococcal vaccine is the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or PCV7. It works to prevent a specific type of lung infection. This bacteria can cause meningitis, bloodstream infections and pneumonia. It was added to the recommended list in July 2000.

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