Vaccinations and Immunization

When I was a kid my parents don't even remember spending thousands of rupees on vaccines of many unknown diseases. Now its different, you have to allocate a separate budget for your kids vaccination even before he/she is born. When my son was born, I consulted a reputed doctor from my native place, and began his vaccination cycle as per their charts. When I landed in my husband's native I again consulted a reputed doctor from that place and he dismissed the vaccination chart of my previous doctor and gave me a fresh vaccination chart and repeated few of the vaccines which were already given to my son.

Now here is the crux of the problem, most of the new parents are not aware of the number of vaccinations which are compulsory and which are optional. Every pediatric has his own chart of compulsory and optional vaccines. Adding to this, every place has a different chart of the kind of vaccines which are compulsory or optional. For eg. Swine Flu vaccine comes in compulsory category(not mandated by government but Pune has more cases for Swine Flu) in Pune and suburbs but is not mandatory in any of our natives.

As a new parent, I was confused and afraid, as I felt that I am not fulfilling my sole child's responsibility and my ignorance of missing vaccines might land my child(god forbid) into diseases which I can't even pronounce. This is where some pediatrics(I won't say all) take  your advantage and then all the optional vaccines become compulsory as it is your only child, you can afford and why take risk.

My take for all the new parents is as follows:

1)Vaccination chart study: If you come in my category, start studying vaccination charts of your native place and the city in which you are going to stay. Consult a well-known pediatric and stick to one pediatric throughout  your child's vaccination schedule.List out which optional vaccines you really want your child to have, based on your family history of diseases and which diseases have high occurrences at the place where you stay. Stick to the list which you are going to follow.If you have good knowledge of this, no doctor can budge you by making you pay for unknown optional vaccines.

2)Study the various brands of vaccines: For a single vaccine there are many brands, and ignorance of these brands can either land you in a position where you end up giving same vaccine to your child multiple times in case of booster dose. And you also lose on your valuable money as these vaccines are very costly. If you have given your child first dose of a specific brand and the doctor is giving booster dose of another brand for same vaccine, insist him to give the booster dose of the brand which was given first.

3)Vaccination chart for parents going abroad with the kids: Currently there are many families staying in cities which come in my category. The records of which vaccines are actually given to the child is stored in 2-3 different files and are not consolidated. The parents who are planning to go for a long term onsite assignment with their kids are supposed to store these records as these records are asked by the country you will be visiting.It also depends on which country you will be staying, but once your child has completed all the vaccines as per scheduled, keep all these files for further references.

Tips for Working moms:
The vaccines which are supposed to be given can come on a weekday. You may not be able to take holiday for every vaccine, so no need to panic. You can shift the day when the vaccine should be given to the nearest weekend(consult doctor on this). My tip is give the vaccine on Friday evening or Saturday morning as in case your child has any reaction for the vaccine or becomes ill, you have Sunday to take care of him/her.

Vaccination is a very vast topic, but I have tried to highlight the basics of it. My only aim is to increase awareness among parents regarding the diseases, and what vaccines are being given to your child. In a generation where we have only one/two progeny, we should be aware of what vaccines are induced to him/her.

Happy Parenting!!!


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