|When a child is born into the world, it is pretty much helpless and strongly requires the aid of its parents to constantly protect it from the dangers of the outside world. With the advancement of civilization, no longer do predatory animals pose a threat to our children, but now, unseen microbes have become the new enemy.
To protect our offspring from the dangers of various microbial infection, medical science has made readily available various forms of vaccines to help our children create antibodies against numerous diseases. By vaccinating your child, you have provided them with their first line of defense against lethal infections, that if left untreated could lead to death.
The body of a newborn child is literally like a blank canvas, as it is yet to have any particular antibodies to protect it from infection. “Vaccinating your child is a very valuable form of investment that any parent can give to their child,” says Ladylove Walakandou, a pediatrician at Siloam Hospitals Manado. No parent wants their child to be bedridden because of an illness.
Although vaccinating your child does not guarantee that they will be 100 percent free of sickness, having them vaccinated provides them with the basic antibodies to prevent major illness. That is why parents are highly recommended to have their children vaccinated, especially in Indonesia where many diseases such as polio, hepatitis and TBC are still a problem.
Indonesia’s government even has a compulsory immunization program, offering free vaccination for children at district health centers and clinics. This is meant to make public health more accessible to everyone. Some of the compulsory vaccinations recommended by Indonesia’s Health Department (Depkes) that every child in Indonesia must get after birth include:
BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin): This vaccine is to prevent the infection of tuberculosis. This illness is highly infectious and attacks the respiratory system.
Hepatitis B: As hepatitis B is still an endemic in developing countries, including Indonesia, getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent being infected by this deadly disease which infects the liver.
Polio: Although the number of polio cases in Indonesia has decreased, this vaccination is still required to completely eradicate the disease.
DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus): This vaccine protects your child from three different diseases with one shot. DPT protects your child from three diseases, diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, that can infect the respiratory system.
Measles: Every child may is supposed to get measles when they are young, but what not many people know is that the virus that brings about red skin spots is quite lethal and can cause internal bleeding. The dangers of measles are heavily decreased thanks to this vaccine.
All five vaccines are compulsory for your children to protect them against lethal pathogens that may endanger their health. “Parents need to understand that children that are not properly vaccinated run the risk of undergoing heavy complications if their child happens to be infected by a particular illness,” adds Lady.
According to Lady, after undergoing the compulsory vaccines, there are other vaccines that parents should also consider administering to their children. As medical science continues to improve, different diseases are also discovered. It is always best to keep the next generation up-to-date with the latest vaccines hence preventing the spread of lethal diseases. Some vaccines parents should consider giving their children, include:
Hib: This vaccine is to prevent against infection of the Haemophilus virus which causes type B influenza, leading to such complications as meningitis, pneumonia and epiglottitis (infection of the vocal cords).
PCV (Pneumococcal vaccine): With this vaccine, you are building immunity against infection of the Pneumococcus bacteria. Infection of this bacteria may lead to meningitis, pneumonia, and ear infection.
Influenza: A influenza shot does not protect you against the common everyday flu but against more lethal mutations of the influenza virus. Despite regularly getting flu shots, the chance of catching a cold is still high, but your risks of contracting a lethal flu are decreased.
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella): Helps your body build immunity against viruses that cause measles, mumps, and rubella.
Typhoid: Typhoid is still a problem in Indonesia and this vaccine protects your body against infection of Salmonella Typhi that causes this particular illness.
Hepatitis A: Although not as lethal and contagious as hepatitis B, hepatitis A can still cause complications of the liver. With this vaccine, the risk of contracting hepatitis A is significantly lowered.
Varicella: This vaccine helps build immunity against the many different strains of chickenpox.
HPV: This vaccine is highly recommended for women to protect them against human papillomavirus, found to be the main cause of cervical cancer.
Health Consultant: dr. Ladylove Walakandou, SpA, Siloam Hospitals Manado.