Facts about U-18 Vaccination All Parents Must Know!
Posted on: October 27, 2021.

Author: Prabhukrishna M, Content Creator/Chief Editor, Yokibu Editorial

Let us start with something most of us might already know, as an introduction to the subject of this article.

The age-phased vaccination program for humankind’s protection against the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (nCOVID-19) has provided us the potential to rethink a major subject—immunized young children.

While the first phase of vaccination was for persons aged 45-60 years, the second phase included those aged 18-44 years, subsequently even considering all persons beyond the age of 60 years.

Another COVID-19 vaccine has arrived for the special purpose of immunizing pre-teens and teens—children “Under-13 to Under-18″ years of age.

ZyCoV-D—manufactured by Ahmedabad-based indigenous drugmaker Cadila Healthcare, popularly known as Zydus Cadila—is for all Indian children aged 12–17 years, from November 2021.

One crore doses of ZyCoV-D—the first “DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine” in the world!—will be produced a month by Zydus Cadila. In September 2021, Indian vaccine regulators awarded ZyCoV-D an emergency authorization.

So far, a sub-population of 82.59 crore adults have received immunizations among the more-than-100-crore—itself a sub-pop of a total resident population of over 139 crore!—vaccinated for nCOVID-19…

…and ZyCoV-D is the only vaccine approved for 12-to-17-year-old Indian children—a sub-pop of about 35 to 40 crore juvenile natives!

COVID-19 apart, the vaccination schedule begins right at birth—ages 0-6 weeks—with Polio Vaccine (Oral “OPV”/Inactivated “IPV”), Hepatitis B (“Hep–B1″/”Hep–B2″), Tetanus–Diphtheria–and–Pertussis “Tdap”, Haemophilus influenzae type B “HIB 1″, Rotavirus 1, and the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine “PCV”…

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…which presently brings us into our subject of “child vaccination”. Children can be protected from contracting dangerous illnesses, vital to which are dosed vaccine administrations.

Difficult though it is to see you little darling regularly pricked by a hypodermic needle, kids are almost unlikely to contract any of a host of debilitating diseases…

…such as whooping cough, measles, mumps, Hib meningitis, meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease, hepatitis, or polio—thanks to timely immunizations—as endorsed by even experts.

How do Diseases and Vaccines Work?

A “disease” is anything that puts health “ill-at-ease” (pun unintended) mostly by disease-causing organisms, medically called “pathogens”. When the immune system is overwhelmed by a pathogen

…typically one that the immune system does not recognize, the child consequently falls sick, usually with fever and associated fatigue.

Enhanced with vaccinations, the immune system recognizes a lot more pathogens, before they attack and destroy, and are better prepared to fight those pathogens.

Why should children be vaccinated?

The global child population is threatened every year by infectious diseases like measles, mumps, and whooping cough being recorded in many children, yet vaccine-preventable.

Conditions such as paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, amputation of an arm or leg, brain damage, or even death would be—in the absence of vaccination—the consequence of serious illness and disease.

Preventable diseases would culminate in an outbreak—a child health disaster if it turns endemic—if children are decided against being vaccinated by their parents.

Furthermore, healthy young children, babies too young to be vaccinated, or immunodeficient people—including cancer patients—could be at risk of disease spread unwittingly by infected, innocent children.

And most importantly, though many infectious diseases are on the decline—thanks to vaccines—in certain countries, such disease could still be prevalent in certain other countries…

…which infected, international travelers might have, unwittingly, brought home—another reason why children should be vaccinated, especially if traveling internationally, or living in a global tourism destination.

What important vaccines must young children take?

Besides, of course, ZyCoV-D for Indian children aged 12–17 years, there are other important “U-13″ and “U-18″ vaccines that parents must be aware of—scheduled, or missed and needing catch-up.

Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis “Whooping Cough” (Tdap)

A single shot should be administered between ages 11 and 12 years , unless deemed medically unsafe.

Catch-Up between ages 13–17 years.

Human Papilloma Virus “HPV”

Should be administered between ages 11 and 12 years, unless deemed medically unsafe.

2-shot series for healthy recipients and 3-shot series of HPV for immunodeficient ones.

Meningococcal Conjugate (MenACWY)

1st dose should be administered between ages 11 and 12 years, unless deemed medically unsafe.

2nd “booster” dose is recommended at the age of 16 years.

Polio (Inactivated Polio Vaccine “IPV”)

Catch-Up between ages 12–16 years

Hepatitis A (HepA)

Catch-Up between ages 12–17 years

Hepatitis B (HepB)

Catch-Up between ages 12–17 years

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

Catch-Up between ages 12–17 years

Chickenpox (Varicella)

Catch-Up between ages 12–17 years

Meningococcal Serogroup B (MenB)

Optional between ages 16 and 17 years, unless medically recommended between ages 12–17 years.

What happens after young children take a vaccination shot?

Fever is normal for a day or two after vaccine administration—the child’s temperature can be reduced with a  sponge bath—but if it persists for more than two days after a shot, medical consultation should be sought.

Injection site turning red and sore: Can be reduced by placing a cool, damp cloth on the vaccinated area.

Vaccination followed by fainting: Adolescents would faint after vaccine administration, but this can be prevented by taking the shot sitting or lying down, and continuing so for 15 minutes post-administration.



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