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What you can do if you missed baby vaccination?

If you are unable to get your baby's scheduled vaccination done due to this country-wide lockdown, you can do the following in such a situation.

You all must be known with the fact that vaccines are the type of medicines which are prepared biologically to provide acquired immunity to a body to combat viruses and bacteria. Vaccination is important for a baby to prevent him/her from any disease outbreak. Usually, a chart is provided by the healthcare provider to the parents at the time of the baby's birth, wherein the scheduled month with the name of the vaccination is mentioned. And that's called a Vaccination Chart.

Attached below is the National Immunization Schedule mentioned as per National Health Mission (NHM) by the Government of India

It is vital to follow the vaccination chart and get your baby vaccinated as per the age mentioned, but if in case you missed the vaccination date due to any unavoidable circumstance or due to any nationwide lockdown, you can consult your paediatrician over the telephone and get the next possible date for the same.

Now the question arises, till how many days you can delay a vaccine?

The answer to this question is according to the medical experts, 30 days of delay is considered to be fine for vaccination but more than that should be avoided if the reason for the delay is not major.

In addition to its delay, there are many frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the vaccination of a child. These are:

1. Which one is better - Government authorised vaccines or Private hospitals vaccines?

Ans: According to NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) Article, all vaccines has 100% coverage except for Measles which has 99.5% of coverage.

The Government authorised vaccination centres provides every vaccine to the prevailing disease in the country and these vaccines are been provided at no extra cost (in India). Additionally, these vaccines are the same in every vaccination centre and are safe as well as effective.

On the other hand, vaccines provided at different private hospitals and clinics are commercially marketed, hence they are chargeable at different prices. Moreover, in private hospitals and clinics, you can find the vaccination for those diseases as well which are not prevailing in the country.

2. Are the Government vaccines safe and effective?

Ans: Yes, the Government vaccines are safe and effective. Every licensed and authorised vaccine is tested before they are recommended for use. There are several cases in India which states that the Government vaccines have been successful in eradicating the major diseases from the country. Among them, one is of Polio. The oral drops for the Polio were only available at the Government authorised vaccination centres. And lastly, in 2014, India got officially declared Polio-free.

3. What are the side-effects of vaccines?

Ans: Like any medicine, vaccines, too, are associated with some minor side effects. These side-effects are been referred to as a good-sign (informally). These side-effects are minor fever which lasts for 24-hrs, pain and the soreness on the injected area, cranky and dull behaviour of the baby.

To get relief from these side-effects of the vaccines, you can apply ice packs on the injected area as it will give relief from the pain. Secondly, if you see the mild fever in your baby, you can give paracetamol (specially formulated for paediatric use) in a prescribed dosage. Hence, do not forget to ask about the dosage from the paediatrician. Thirdly, do not force your child to drink or eat something. It is okay if he/she is not willing to have anything for his meal. A little pressure can make your child more cranky and irritable.

4. What is the difference between painless and painful vaccines?

Ans: Practically, there is no difference in between painful and painless vaccines. Both have the same effectiveness and are associated with minor side-effects. Hence do not get fooled when any doctor or healthcare provider says that the vaccine given by him/her is painless.

5. Should I get my baby vaccinated even if he is sick?

Ans: In this situation, you should speak to your doctor before getting your child vaccinated. Generally, in case of minor cold and flu, earache, stomach pain, and diarrhoea, vaccinations can be done. Still, it is good to get a green signal from your doctor first. As during any infection, vaccines do not show their effectiveness.

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