Immunity is the ability of an individual to resist invasions by various organisms e.g. viruses, bacteria and parasites which can cause diseases in the body. We all have certain inborn factors that provide immunity e.g. skin barrier, white blood cells circulating in body, spleen and antibodies secreted in various secretions of body. Immunization is the process of acquiring immunity against a particular organism by administration of vaccine.
Vaccines are products made up of preparations of live or killed organisms. Introduction of vaccine into the body stimulates active immunity against the particular organism providing resistance against it. This introduction of vaccine or immunization should start after birth to provide protection against various diseases. A number of immunization schedules are recommended by in various parts of the world.
The following immunization schedule has been recommended by for children.
|Age of immunization||Protection against (Disease)||Vaccine|
|AT BIRTH||Hepatitis B, Polio, Tuberculosis||Hep B Vaccine – I
OPV – Zero Dose
|4 -6 WEEKS||Hepatitis B||Hep B Vaccine – II|
|6 WEEKS||Diphtheria, Pertusis, Tetanus, Polio, H. influenza (Brain fever)||DPT – I
OPV – I
HiB – I
|10 WEEKS||Diphtheria, Pertusis, Tetanus, Polio, H. influenza (Brain fever)||DPT – II
OPV – II
|14 WEEKS||Diphtheria, Pertusis, Tetanus, Polio, H. influenza (Brain fever)||DPT – III
OPV – III
HiB – III
|6 MONTHS||Hepatitis B||Hep B Vaccine – III|
|9 MONTHS||Measles and Polio||MEASLES VACC
OPV – IV
|12 MONTHS||Chicken Pox||Varicella Vaccine|
|15-18 MONTHS||Mumps, Measles and Rubella||MMR – I|
|18-24 MONTHS||Diphtheria, Pertusis, Tetanus, Polio||DPT – Booster I
OPV – V
|24 MONTHS||Typhoid||Typhoid(TAB) Vaccine|
|4 ½ -5 YEARS||Diphtheria, Pertusis and Tetanus, Polio, Mumps, Measles and Rubella Chicken Pox||DPT – Booster II
OPV – VI
MMR – II – Booster is recommended
Points To Remember
- Combination vaccines are available for DPT + Hepatitis B (quadrivalent vaccine)and DPT + Hepatitis B + Hib vaccine(pentavalent vaccine). These can be used to decrease the number of pricks being given to the baby and to decrease the number of clinic visits.
- OPV must be given to children less than 5 years of age at the time of each supplementary immunisation activity i.e pulse polio schemes
Continuation Of Vaccination After 5 Yaers Of Age
- T.T vaccination against tetanus is recommended at every five year interval.
- Typhoid vaccination against typhoid infection is recommended at every three year interval.
Other Recommended Vaccines
These vaccines can be administered along with the schedule given above, under guidance of your paediatrician. The vaccines are not yet part of vaccination schedule of Indian Government but are recommended by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics.
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine against pneumococcal pneumonia – three primary doses at 6, 10, and 14 weeks, followed by a booster at 15-18 months.
- Rotavirus vaccine against infant diarrhoea due to rotavirus – two doses 4 weeks apart usually given at 6 weeks and 10 weeks
- Hepatitis A vaccine against hepatitis A jaundice – it is given after age of 12 months i.e. 1 year of age; two doses at 6 months interval.
- TIV or Influenza vaccine against influenza virus infections–two doses after 6 months of age at 4 week interval, then yearly.
- Men A vaccine against meningococcal infections is recommended in immunocompromised children or when there is disease outbreak in community ; single dose above age of one year.
- HPV vaccine against HPV infections known to cause cervical cancer – it is as yet given to girls above age of 10 years; three doses ; 0, 1 month and 6 months
- Core information for the development of Immunization policy. WHO- Vaccine and Biological.2002 update.
- IAP Guidebook of Immunization. Individual vaccines. Available from: http://www.iapcoi.com/pdf/chapter04individualvaccines.pdf
- Pickering UK, Orenstein WO: Active immunisation. Principles and Practice of Paediatric Infectious Diseases. Revised 3rd edition. Churchill Livingstone, 2009; 48 – 71.
- Update on Immunization Policies, Guidelines and Recommendations. Indian Paediatrics, 2004;41:239 – 244.