Remember the time when we were all eager to welcome our little bundle of joy? Emotions were at an all-time high, eyes gleaming with eagerness and hope topped with the infectious smile at the arrival of the baby. Priceless memories, aren’t they?
A lot has changed, and a lot hasn’t since those days. What hasn’t changed is that we still want the best for our child! As parents it breaks our hearts to see painful injections being administered to our tiny tots. Another school of thought also suggests against vaccines and booster vaccines. As first-time parents we had our doubts and on research, we understood that there were no two ways about it. What needs to be done, needs to be done! Vaccines and boosters are essential to prevent against deadly diseases. And hence, we’ve ensured timely administration and maintained our daughter Anamta’s vaccination folder as well.
What needs attention is that the protection provided against a few diseases wears out and booster vaccines need to be administered for continued protection.
In this article, we talk about booster vaccines and why our child needs them.
Why are booster vaccines essential?
Booster vaccines keep our baby safe and protected from a range of diseases. Boosters can be described as a ‘reminder’ to our baby’s immune system.
Immunization against some diseases is successful in nearly all cases. However, minority of babies don’t become immune after the first injection and are still susceptible to the disease. So, they need booster shots to build up immunity.
Also, some people tend to lose their immunity over time if they don’t receive the recommended booster vaccines.
So, booster doses are given to ensure that the immunity does build up even for those children in whom it didn’t with the first vaccine. For some immunizations, our baby will need a course of vaccines to build up his/her defense and to provide life-long immunity.
The reason for the variation in different vaccines is not clear yet. A single dose of some vaccines provides lifelong immunity to most people, while other vaccines require additional doses (boosters) in order to maintain immunity.
Sometimes, vaccine boosters are needed, because the immune response ‘memory’ weakens over time. For example, anti-tetanus injections may need to be repeated every ten years.
Why is Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTP) vaccine and booster important?
Diphtheria is a serious infection of the throat that may block the airway and cause severe breathing issues.
Tetanus (lockjaw) is a nerve disease that can happen at any age, caused by toxin-producing bacteria contaminating a wound.
Pertussis (whooping cough), on the other hand, is a respiratory illness with cold-like symptoms that lead to severe coughing (the “whooping” sound happens when a baby breathes in deeply after a severe coughing fit). Serious complications can affect children under 1 year old, and those younger than 6 months old are especially at risk.
Babies need 3 shots of DTP to build up high levels of protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough. Then, young children need 2 booster shots to maintain that protection through early childhood.
4-6-year-old children as well as adolescents need to be given the booster dose. Both DTaP (full strength upto age 7 years) and Tdap (reduced strength for adolescent age onwards) are boosters of DTP.
At this time, when the focus is on staying safe from infectious diseases, should we not ensure that our children get the booster shoes in addition to the mandatory vaccines? Children may even pass on these infections to others in the household if they themselves are not adequately protected through booster shots.
As informed parents we’ve made sure that our little one has been administered age-based DTP vaccines for her to have a healthy and safe future. Why don’t you also check with your health expert to help your child be protected? Stay safe, stay healthy!
#DontWaitVaccinate your child now! Get more information on DTP booster vaccines here.
The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur India bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.