2 4 6 Months
The immunisations that are given at 2 and 4 months protect against rotavirus, polio, whooping cough, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria haemophilus B and pneumococcus. These last two cause pneumonia and meningitis. There are two needles in total. Infanrix Hexa and Prevenar 13. The rotavirus vaccine is given as an oral preparation. Rotavirus is the leading cause of serious gastroenteritis in children.
The most common side effect from the needles is a lump in the leg. This can feel quite firm and tender. Sometimes it lasts for 6 – 8 weeks. The other side effects include a low grade fever and irritability. Parents commonly are concerned about the number of needles and number of vaccines that are given. There is a mistaken impression that the vaccines can ‘overload the system’. The immune system is bombarded constantly by foreign proteins and materials. This occurs every time we breathe, eat and interact with the outside world. The amount of material in the vaccinations is negligible and combining vaccines does not lower their individual effectiveness.
12 months immunisations
These include measles mumps rubella, MMR, and the meningitis causing organisms meninogococcal serotype C and haemophilus influenza type b. There are two needles given at this age. The MMR vaccine can sometimes cause a mild rash and fever 7 – 10 days afterwards. The meningitis vaccine can cause low grade temperature and headache.
18 months Immunisation
There are two needles. The first is Measles-Mumps-rubella-chickenpox (Priorix -tetra or Proquad). The second is Diptheria-tetanus-pertussis (infanrix or Tripacel)
A word about chicken pox
Chicken Pox is usually a mild disease in healthy children. However, it is sometimes severe or even fatal.
In Australia the government only fund one dose. However the immunisation guidelines suggest two doses and in other countries of the World two doses are given. So to get the second dose a script needs to be obtained from your doctor and the vaccine picked up from the chemist. This should be given no sooner that 4 weeks after the first dose. The reason for the second dose is to ensure 100% protection. After only one dose there is 85% protection.
Any Side effects?
The vaccines are very well tolerated. Occasionally fever or local reactions occur. A mild, maculopapular or vesicular rash (usually 2 to 5 spots) occurs in about 5% of children. This occurs most commonly at the site of the injection, but may be generalised. It usually happens 10 to 21 days after vaccination.
4 Years Old
The 4yo vaccination consists of diptheria-tetanus-pertussis-polio (infanrix IPV)