Any vaccine can cause fever, pain and allergic reactions. DPT is known to cause more pain and fever.
Immunization schedule can be altered by your doctor. There is no hard and fast rule that it has to be given in a particular way.
Minor illness is not a contraindication for vaccination.
If a dose is missed, it can be given at a later date. Your doctors will advise you.
Brands of vaccines are interchangeable.
Never come for vaccination before the recommended date. If you come few days late there is no problem.
Keep your vaccination record safely and preserve it lifelong. Bring it during your visit to the hospital.
There is nothing called optional vaccines. If you don't have financial problems it is better to take all available vaccinations including vaccines recommended in special circumstances.
Usually vaccination does not cause major health problems. Benefits outweigh the risk.
If available, combination of multiple vaccines can be given. By this we can avoid multiple pricks to the children.
Majority vaccines are not available in Govt. Hospitals. Whatever vaccines are available in Govt. Hospitals are also available in Private Hospital. Hence it is advisable to take all vaccines at both Govt. and Private Hospitals or only at private hospitals. Ultimately aim is to give vaccinations for all diseases.
If some vaccine is not available at a particular time, same can be given as per your doctor's advice at a later date. No age is an exception for most of the vaccinations. May be given at any age as per your doctor's advice.
Specific information :
1) BCG vaccine : This vaccine protects against tuberculosis which spreads through inhalation route. It is given through injection. After few days, there will be a swelling at the site of injection. Gradually it becomes soft and there may be discharge from the swelling. By 6-12 weeks a permanent scar will be formed at the site of injection. No need to apply any medications at the site of the injection during the period of the scar formation.
2) Polio vaccine : Two types of polio vaccines are available-oral and injectable. At present it is recommended that both should be given at different timings. These vaccines protect children from poliomyelitis disease which spreads by fecal oral route through contaminated food and water. OPV is given through oral route and IPV through injection. Now our country is free from polio. In coming days oral Polio vaccine will be stopped and injectable polio vaccine will be continued.
3) DPT vaccine : This vaccine gives protection against 3 dreaded diseases-Diphtheria, Pertusis and Tetanus. Diphtheria and Pertusis spreads through inhalation route and Tetanus spreads through contamination of wound. There are two types of DPT injections. One contains whole cell pertusis and the other contains acellular peritusis. Both are equally efficacious. However pain and fever is more in whole cell pertusis containing vaccine than in acellular pertusis containing vaccine. Both whole cell and acellular vaccines are available separately and also in combination with other vaccines. Acellular pertusis containing vaccines are more expensive than whole cell pertusis containing vaccines. Your doctor will prescribe medications for pain and fever. Whether to give whole cell or acellular pertusis containing vaccine is left to parents choice. It is given through injection.
4) Hib vaccine : It gives protection against meningitis, pneumonia and other infections caused due to H influenza b bacteria. It spreads by inhalation route. It is available separately and in combination with other vaccines. However it does not protect from meningitis, meningitis and other infections caused due to other organisms. It is given through injection.
5) Hepatitis B vaccine : It gives protection against dreaded infection caused by Hepatitis B virus (B Jaundice). It spreads from mother to child through placenta, contaminated needles/ sharps and through sexual route. It may lead to carrier state, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of liver and cancer of liver. It is available separately and in combination with other vaccines. It is given through injection. If mother is HBsAg carrier, we need to give Hepatitis B immunoglobulin along with vaccine at birth to the child. In most of the people with Hepatitis B carrier state, there won't be any problem.
6) Rota virus vaccine : It gives protection against gastroenteritis caused by rotavirus infection. It spreads by fecal oral route through contaminated food and water. 3 types of vaccines are available and all are recommended. It is given by oral route.
7) Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine : It gives protection against pneumonia, meningitis and other infections caused due to pneumococcal bacteria. It spreads by inhalation route. Two types of vaccines are available. One protects against 10 strains and the other protects against 13 strains. The one which protects against 13 strains is more expensive. Both are recommended. Choice is left to parents. This vaccine does not give protection against meningitis and pneumonia caused due to other organisms. It is available separately and should be given through injection.
8) Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine : It gives protection against 23 strains of pneumococcal bacteria which spread by inhalation route. However it cannot be given before the age of 2 years. It is usually recommended in certain high risk group. However there is no harm in giving to normal people. It is given through injection.
9) MMR Vaccine : It gives protection against 3 diseases - Mumps, Measles Rubella. All these 3 diseases spread through inhalation route. Mumps can cause orchitis and pancreatitis. Measles can cause keratitis, pneumonia etc. Rubella in pregnant mother can affect the fetus in utero leading to deafness, cataract and heart disease. Hence it is very important to vaccinate all children especially females before marriage. It is given through injection.
10) Hepatitis A Vaccine : This vaccine gives protection against hepatitis (A Jaundice) caused due to Hepatitis A virus. It spreads by fecal oral route through contaminated food and water. Two types of vaccines are available. Live attenuated and killed vaccines. Live vaccine is single dose and killed vaccine is 2 doses. Both are recommended. Both are given through injection. Choice is left to the parents.
11) Typhoid vaccine : It gives protection against typhoid fever. It spreads through fecal oral route through contaminated food and water. Two types are available. One is Vi polysaccharide vaccine to be given once in every 3 years. It can be given only after 2 years of age. Its effect lasts for only 3 years. Other is conjugate vaccine to be given as 2 doses 1 year apart and no need to repeat the doses. After 2 doses, immunity lasts for a longer period. Conjugate vaccine is expensive as compared to polysaccharide vaccine and can be given before the age of 2 years. No need to give both the vaccines. Choice is left to the parents.
12) Chicken Pox vaccine : This vaccine gives protection against chicken pox disease. It spreads through inhalation route and direct contact. In some people chicken pox can cause brain infection (encephalitis), cerebellitis, pneumonia and other complications. It may cause ugly permanent scars. Hence it is highly recommended to give this vaccine. It is given through injection.
13) Flu vaccine : It gives protection against seasonal flu. It spreads through inhalation route. It is usually given to high risk patients like Asthma, allergic rhinitis. However there is no harm in giving to normal people. It is given through injection.
14) JE (Japanese Encephalitis) vaccine : It gives protection against Japanese Encephalitis. It spreads through bite of infected mosquitos (Culex). Usually it is recommended for people staying in areas where this disease is prevalent. However there is no harm in giving this vaccine to other people. It is given through injection.
15) Meningococcal vaccine : It gives protection against meningitis caused due to meningococcal bacteria. It spreads through inhalation route. It is usually recommended for people where this disease is more prevalent. However there is no harm in giving to other people. It is given through injection.
16) Rabies vaccines : This vaccine gives protection against dreaded disease called "Rabies" caused due to bite of animals like dog, fox, cat, monkey etc. Rabies is a fatal disease and there is no treatment once the person develops this disease. It can be given prior to the bite or after the bite. It is better and safe to take this vaccine prior to the bite as pre exposure prophylaxis. After the bite it is mandatory to take this vaccine. Your doctor may advice rabies immunoglobulin along with vaccination depending on the severity of the bite and nature of the animal. It is given through injection. As soon as animal bites, one should wash the wound with soap and water immediately and seek medical attention.
17) HPV vaccine : It is also called cervical cancer vaccine. However it does not protect from cervical cancer directly. It gives protection against human papilloma virus infection. It spreads through sexual/physical contact with infected partners. HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer. Hence if we prevent HPV infection chances of cervical cancer will be less. It is given through injection. It should be given to all females before the first coitus.