Vaccines are of three types:
Killed vaccines: Killed vaccines contain microorganisms that are killed by various processes. E.g. Salk vaccine for polio.
Live attenuated vaccines: These vaccines contain live microorganisms that can multiply to a limited extent in the child, but they are unable to produce an infection. They usually provide long-lasting immunity. They could, however, result in disease in people with decreased immunity, for example, those suffering from cancer, AIDS or under treatment with corticosteroids; live attenuated vaccines should be avoided in people with decreased immunity. E.g. oral polio vaccine.
Toxoids: These are bacterial toxins that have been rendered inactive, but they retain their ability to produce an immune reaction. E.g. tetanus toxoid and diphtheria toxoid.
A vaccine is made often from bacteria and viruses, but is unable to produce an infection in a normal child. However, it retains its ability to produce an immune reaction. The child produces antibodies against the organism, thus conferring protection to the child against that particular organism. For example, if a live attenuated polio vaccine is administered to the child, the child produces an immune reaction against the polio virus in the vaccine. The same antibodies also protect the child if an actual polio virus infects the child.
Most vaccines are safe in children and do not cause any complications. Mild adverse effects like local pain, fever and mild rash may be observed. Serious complications are rarely observed with the use of vaccines. The benefits of the vaccines outweigh their risk even in the face of these rare serious complications and their continued use in children is recommended.
The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) was launched in India in 1978. It aimed to cover 80% infants against six diseases, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, typhoid and childhood tuberculosis. The program was later expanded to cover 100% infants in 1985 and was referred to as the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). Under this program, typhoid vaccination was discontinued and measles vaccine was added. Vaccines are administered free of cost under this program.
Latest Publications and Research on Vaccination for ChildrenVaricella death of an unvaccinated, previously healthy adolescent - ohio, 2009. - Published by PubMed
Postlicensure surveillance for pre-specified adverse events following the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in children. - Published by PubMed
Specific antibody deficiency in children with recurrent respiratory infections: a controlled study with follow-up. - Published by PubMed
Trends and patterns of under-5 vaccination in Nigeria, 1990-2008: what manner of progress? - Published by PubMed
A critical literature review of health economic evaluations of rotavirus vaccination. - Published by PubMed