Thanks to vaccinations, many of the diseases that previously wiped out many thousands of people have now been eradicated. Yet vaccination still continues to be a difficult subject at times. Most notable, the MMR immunisation has been controversial in recent years. So, which immunisations will your baby be offered and what do they protect your baby against?
Vaccinations in the First Year
Your baby will have most of their immunisations in the first year of life. Your baby will be offered vaccinations that are combined so they won?t need a separate injection for each of the following illnesses. The illnesses that your baby will be immunised against include the following;
Pertussis ? this is more commonly known as Whooping Cough and has had resurgence in recent years. It is an unpleasant infectious illness characterised by a cough followed by a barking or ?whooping? noise. It can cause serious breathing difficulties.
Tetanus ? this is rare but can be very serious, occurring when bacteria enters the body (usually through a wound) and causes an infection. This can result in lockjaw and having trouble swallowing.
Diphtheria ? this is a very contagious illness that causes breathing problems, high temperature and throat/nose problems. It is a very serious illness, sometimes fatal, that is now very rare due to the vaccination program.
Polio ? this was once a major problem but now it is fortunately extremely rare, again mainly due to the vaccination of infants. It causes pain, fatigue and muscle weakness and there is no known cure.
Hib ? this refers to Haemophilus Influenzae Type B, which is a bacterial infection that can lead to a wide range of very serious illnesses including meningitis. Hib infection can be a very serious condition.
PCV ? this stands for the Pneumococcal Vaccine and is designed to protect against infection by a bacteria that (like Hib) can cause a range of illnesses including meningitis, pneumonia and septicaemia (blood poisoning).
Meningococcal C ? the Men C vaccine, as it is known, protects against a type of bacteria that can cause meningitis and septicaemia. There are different bacteria which can cause bacteria, so it is important you know the signs and your baby has other vaccinations against this serious illness.
MMR ? This vaccination is against Measles, Mumps and Rubella (also sometimes known as German Measles). Your baby will have the first of the MMR jabs at around 12 months of age. This is the vaccination that has been controversial, mainly sue to research that appeared to link the MMR vaccine with Autism. This research has now been completely debunked. It was not carried out correctly, contained many errors and doctors have completely disregarded it. Increases in the number of children suffering from diseases that the MMR protects against have increased as a result of failure to take up the vaccination and very serious illness has resulted. These illnesses are extremely dangerous for your baby and the prevailing advice is to protect your child from them.
If you are concerned about the safety of any vaccination then you have every right to discuss the merits and risks of any immunisation with your doctor or other health professional.