Monday, December 01, 2014

Confused about "Optional Vaccinations" for Indian children

Q: My baby was born in 29.9.2014 it almost crossed age of 2 months. My doctor had told me to take Rota virus vaccine and Pneumococcal Vaccine , it is necessary to take the same, otherwise it is optional, so i am confused please help me . for taking the vaccines

A: From 2011 onward, the Indian Academy of Pediatrics no longer uses the older classification of routine and optional vaccines. 
Now all the vaccines are divided as Recommended vaccines & "Vaccines in Special Situations" .
You can find the IAP 2013 vaccine recommendations here
Both Rotavirus & Pneumococcal vaccines are Recommended vaccines and should be provided to ALL children whose parents can afford them.
This is because diarrhea and pneumonia are the commonest causes of admission & deaths in children under the age of 5 years in India, and any vaccination that can reduce this burden substantially should be taken by the largest number of children possible.
In fact, Sh Narender Modi has recently announced that along with MMR & Polio Injection, Rotavirus would be provided free of charge to all children in India as soon as feasible, through the government health care systems.
So the short answer is, if you can afford it, take both the rotavirus & pneumonia vaccines for your baby. Remember Rotavirus vaccine cannot be started after the age of 4 months.

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