Immunization is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases and is estimated to avert between 2 and 3 million deaths each year. It is one of the most cost-effective health investments, with proven strategies that make it accessible to even the most hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations. It has clearly defined target groups; it can be delivered effectively through outreach activities; and vaccination does not require any major lifestyle change.
Immunization can be achieved in an active or passive manner: vaccination is an active form of immunization.
Medical student participating in a polio vaccine campaign in Mexico
Artificial active immunization is where the microbe, or parts of it, are injected into the person before they are able to take it in naturally. If whole microbes are used, they are pre-treated.
The importance of immunization is so great that the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named it one of the “Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century”. Live attenuated vaccines have decreased pathogenicity. Their effectiveness depends on the immune systems ability to replicate and elicits a response similar to natural infection. It is usually effective with a single dose. Examples of live, attenuated vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella, MMR, yellow fever, varicella,rotavirus, and influenza (LAIV).
Passive immunization is where pre-synthesized elements of the immune system are transferred to a person so that the body does not need to produce these elements itself. Currently, antibodies can be used for passive immunization. This method of immunization begins to work very quickly, but it is short lasting, because the antibodies are naturally broken down, and if there are no B cells to produce more antibodies, they will disappear.
Artificial passive immunization is normally administered by injection and is used if there has been a recent outbreak of a particular disease or as an emergency treatment for toxicity, as in for tetanus. The antibodies can be produced in animals, called “serum therapy,” although there is a high chance of anaphylactic shock because of immunity against animal serum itself. Thus, humanized antibodiesproduced in vitro by cell culture are used instead if available.Immunizations, or vaccines as they’re also known, safely and effectively use a small amount of a weakened or killed virus or bacteria or bits of lab-made protein that imitate the virus in order to prevent infection by that same virus or bacteria.
When you get an immunization, you’re injected with a weakened form of (or a fragment of) a disease. This triggers your body’s immune response, causing it to either produce antibodies to that particular ailment or induce other processes that enhance immunity.
Then, if you’re ever again exposed to the actual disease-causing organism, your immune system is prepared to fight the infection. A vaccine will usually prevent the onset of a disease or else reduce its severity.
The goal of public health is to prevent disease. It’s much easier and more cost-effective to prevent a disease than to treat it. That’s exactly what immunizations aim to do.
Immunizations protect us from serious diseases and also prevent the spread of those diseases to others. Over the years immunizations have thwarted epidemics of once common infectious diseases such asmeasles, mumps, and whooping cough. And because of immunizations we’ve seen the near eradication of others, such as polio and smallpox.
Some vaccines need to be given only once; others require updates or “boosters” to maintain successful immunization and continued protection against disease.
Because proof of immunization is often a prerequisite for enrollment in school or day care, it’s important to keep your children up to date on their vaccines. The benefit of doing so is that your children will be protected from diseases that could cause them serious health problems. The recommended immunizations for children 0-6 years of age include:
At one time or another, each of the diseases addressed by these vaccines posed a serious health threat to children, taking their lives by the thousands; today most of these diseases are at their lowest levels in decades, thanks to immunizations.
It’s important to keep your child’s immunizations on schedule and up to date, but if your child misses a scheduled dose he or she can “catch up” later.The complete updated schedule of immunizations for children ages 0-18 can be
Today, vaccines are considered safe. As with any medication, they can have side effects. In most cases these are usually mild. Most common minor reactions to an immunization are:
Side effects like these usually disappear in a few days. In extremely rare instances a high fever, in excess of 104 F, can occur with a vaccine.Fevers like this will not harm your children, but they can make them uncomfortable and upset.
Children have also been known to have serious allergic reactions to a vaccine. These usually happen very soon after getting the vaccine, and doctors’ offices are well equipped to handle such reactions. If you think your child has or may have an allergy to any component in a vaccine, be sure to share that information with your doctor.
Medical providers agree that the proven preventive benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks of the minimal side effects associated with them. More information about vaccine side effects and precautions can be found in the CDC’s brochure Parents Guide to Childhood Immunizations.
Vaccines are very effective at preventing disease, but they don’t work all the time. Most of the recommended childhood immunizations are 90%-100% effective, according to the CDC.
However, for reasons that are not completely understood, sometimes a child will not become fully immunized against a disease after receiving a vaccine. This is all the more reason to get children vaccinated. Children in whom the vaccine is 100% effective protect those few who have not been completely immunized — lessening everyone’s chance of exposure to the disease.
Even in cases where a vaccine has not given your child 100% immunity, the symptoms — if your child is exposed to an infectious disease — will still usually be milder than if he or she had not been immunized at all.
Here are important answers to three common misconceptions about vaccines.
Misconception #1: “We don’t need to vaccinate against rare diseases.”
Few parents today have even heard of all of the diseases we vaccinate against, let alone seen a case of the measles, diphtheria, or whooping cough.
This leads some to ask, “Why am I giving my child a vaccine against a disease that doesn’t even exist?”
The answer is that it’s the vaccines that keep these diseases so rare. Avoiding having your child immunized because of myths and misinformation about vaccine safety puts your child — and public — at risk. In communities where vaccine rates have dropped, these infectious diseases have quickly returned.
Misconception #2: “The preservative thimerosal makes vaccines risky.”
Another concern about vaccines involves the use of a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal.
|Birth dose||BCG, OPV-zero , HepB1||these vaccines given to all newborns before hospital discharge|
|6 weeks||DTwP1, IPV1, Hib1, PCV1, HepB2||DTaP combinations should preferably be avoided for the primary series.|
|10||DTwP2, IPV2, Hib2, PCV2, Rota1||If RV1 is chosen, the first dose should be given at 10 weeks. Only 2 doses of RV1 are recommended at present|
|14||DTwP3, IPV3, Hib3, PCV3, Rota2||(2nd dose Rotarix –final)|
|6 months||OPV1, HepB3|
|9 months||OPV2 , MMR1||Measles-containing vaccine ideally should not be administered before completing 270 days or 9 months of life. The 2nd dose must follow in 2nd year of life.|
|9-12 months||Conjugated Typhoid vaccine||Currently, two typhoid conjugate vaccines, Typbar-TCV and PedaTyph available in Indian market. Should follow a booster at 2 years of age|
|12 months||HepA1||One of the 2 doses of inactivated now or a-single dose for live attenuated H2-strain HepA vaccine now recommended|
|15 month||MMR2, varicella1 , PCVb||The risk of breakthrough varicella is lower if given 15 months onwards|
|16 to 18 months||DTwP b1 or DTaP b1 |
IPV b1 , Hib b1
|DTwP or DTaP booster (4th dose) may be administered as early as age 12 months, provided at least 6 months have elapsed since the third dose. Considering a higher reactogenicity of DTwP, consider DTaP for the boosters.|
|18 months to 2yrs||HepA2, Typhoidb||Also suggesting only single dose for live attenuated H2- strain HepA vaccine|
|4 -6 yrs||DTwP b2 or DTaP b2 ; OPV3 Varicella2 and Typhoid b||2nd dose varicella can be given at any time 3 months after the 1st dose|
|10 -12 years||Tdap or Td, |
HPV series to begin
|Tdap is preferred to Td ,followed by every 10 years|
HPV : 2 or 3 doses > 9 yrs. & older
|Vaccines||Birth||2 mons||4 mons||6 mons||9 mons||12 mons||15 mons||18 mons||2 -3 yrs.||4-6 Yrs.||11-12Yrs.|
|Rota oral RV1 or Rv5||Rv1 or Rv5||Rv1 or RV5|
|5th||Tdap Q 10 yrs.|
|Hib||1st||2nd||3rd or 4th||3rd or 4th|
|Polio: IPV <18y||1st||2nd||3rd||3rd||4th|
|HepA||2 dose series|
|HPV||3 dose series|
What you eat and drink makes a difference. The things that help you avoid hemorrhoids are also good for the rest of your body. Eat more fiber. A good way to get it is from plant foods — vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes. Most Americans need more fiber, and foods are the best sources.
Stay hydrated. If you don’t, you may strain during a bowel movement and make hard stools, which further irritate the swollen veins. Drink water, and remember that you also get H2O from foods such as fruits and vegetables.
To minimize pain, soak in a warm tub of water for at least 10 minutes every day. You can also sit on a warm water bottle to relieve the pain of external hemorrhoids. If the pain is too much to bear, you can use an over-the-counter medicated suppository, ointment, or cream to relieve the burning and itching.
Home treatment can also include increasing your dietary fiber intake. Consuming foods that are high in dietary fiber can minimize the risk of developing hemorrhoids in the future.
Good dietary fiber sources include:
Dietary fiber helps create bulk in the intestines, which softens the stool, making it easier to pass.
If you’re constipated, you can also use an over-the-counter fiber supplement to help soften your stool.
If home treatments aren’t helping your case of hemorrhoids, your doctor might recommend getting a rubber band ligation. This procedure involves the doctor cutting off the circulation of the hemorrhoid by placing a rubber band around it. This causes loss of circulation to the hemorrhoid, forcing it to shrink. You shouldn’t try this at home, however.
If rubber band ligation isn’t an option in your case, your doctor can inject a chemical into the blood vessel directly. This causes the hemorrhoid to reduce in size. This treatment is known as injection therapy or sclerotherapy.
In the majority of cases the patient can take some simple measures which will alleviate symptoms while the problem gets better on its own. However, medicines and even surgery may sometimes be needed.
Most hemorrhoid medicines are OTC (over-the-counter); this means you do not need a doctor’s prescription to get them. They include ointments, pads or suppositories. Such active ingredients as hydrocortisone and witch hazel are known to relieve itching and pain. These medicines should not be used for more than about seven days (unless your doctor has told you otherwise).
Your doctor may carry out a simple incision if a clot has formed around an external hemorrhoid. These incisions are usually effective. More continuous bleeding may require rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy (injection) or coagulation.
Surgery is recommended if the patient has not benefited from the simple procedures, or if the hemorrhoids are very large. In some cases the patient may go home straight after the procedure, while in others they may have to be hospitalized. Surgery may involve hemorrhoidectomy or stapling.
The method shown on the right is a gentle method of hemorrhoidal ligation (HAL: Hemorrhoidal Artery Ligation, or RAR: Recto Anal Repair). It locates the main branch of the artery by means ofultrasound loops, with a curved needle tightly threading around the artery and pulling it together. This is called a minimally invasive treatment method and is described as being painless.
There are things you can do to relieve the symptoms. Bear in mind that they will not eliminate the hemorrhoids.
If your stools are always soft your chances of developing hemorrhoids are greatly reduced. You can help prevent hemorrhoids in the following ways: