At six weeks, it’s time for another well-baby check up, and this one features your little one’s first round of immunizations. At this visit, your child will be vaccinated against DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, aka whooping cough), Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b), IPV (polio), PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine), Hep B (hepatitis B — unless she got it at her four-week checkup instead), and RV (rotavirus). This alphabet soup of vaccinations may leave you needing some A’s to your Q’s. However parents usually have a number of questions and doubt concerning immunisation programs and vaccines. The safety issues, side effects, efficacy and the administration are common aspects that need detailed clarification. Every parent is recommended that they consult a paediatrician and discuss all their concerns. The following are some of the common questions to which all parents seek answers:
Why vaccines are necessary?
Today the incidence rate of communicable diseases is much less than before, thanks to vaccination. But the list of life threatening diseases have not gone away, that is, they are yet to be completely eradicated from our country . Outbreaks of some of these diseases still occur across the nation. When fewer babies get vaccinated, more babies get sick.
Are all these shots really safe?
In a word, yes. Complications are extremely rare, and after dozens of research studies, no link has been found between vaccinations and developmental disabilities such as autism. The diseases these vaccines are designed to prevent are far more dangerous to your baby. It should be noted that all vaccines that are introduced in the mainstream are introduced after a number of clinical trials and tests. These tests are often already implemented in other countries too. It is important to also understand that these vaccines provide protection against some of the strains of the disease producing pathogens. Hence on should always take the benefits of medical research.
What if my baby has a reaction to the vaccines?
Your baby may be sore at the site of the injections and may have a slight fever (under 101) or be cranky. To treat side effects her doctor will probably recommend infants’ acetaminophen or ibuprofen for relief. It’s very unlikely that your baby will experience a more severe reaction.
Won’t these shots hurt baby?
The pain of a vaccine is only momentary (feels like a pinch) and compared with the pain of the diseases the immunization is protecting against, insignificant. It should also be noted that today there are pain free immunisations also available; however you will have to place orders well in advance as they are scarcely available.
How to minimize pain from vaccination?
You can minimize your baby’s pain by holding her in your arms and by distracting her (studies show babies cry less this way), by breastfeeding immediately before or during the immunization, or by using an anesthetic cream an hour earlier (ask your pediatrician — to prescribe it).