What Is Immunization And Why Is It Necessary?
Immunization simply means protection. It is the safest way of preventing your child from various contagious diseases. In most countries, your baby will be immunized from the time they are born until they are nine months old. This helps protect them from diseases such as:-
- Hepatitis B
- Yellow fever
What Vaccination Schedules do we have in Kenya?
In Kenya, the Division of Vaccines and Immunizations is responsible for providing the immunization schedule in the ministry of health, and are commonly known as KEPI (Kenya expanded programme on immunization). Below is the immunization schedule that is given and required in Kenya.
- At Birth – After the baby is born, they are given the OPV, BCG and Hepatitis B vaccinations.
- OPV is given orally and protects against polio.
- BCG protects tuberculosis
- Hep B is for hepatitis B.
- 6 Weeks – At six weeks, the vaccines given are:
- OPV for polio
- Hep B – Protects against hepatitis B
- DPT – protect against diphtheria,
- Tetanus – Protects against Tetanus
- Pneumococcal- protects against pneumonia.
- HIB -protects against hemophilia influenza type B is also given at six weeks.
- 14 Weeks – At fourteen weeks, the same vaccines given at six weeks are given. However, there is an addition of VIT A vaccine which protects against vitamin A deficiency.
- 6 Months – At six months, VIT A vaccine is given to protect against vitamin A deficiency.
- 9 Months – At nine months, your child is given vaccines to protect against yellow fever and measles.
There are a few other vaccines that are available personal request. These are such as the flu provided in private hospital and at a cost.
After your baby has been immunized, it is possible for them to have side effects. However, this should not raise a lot of concern as these side effects are mostly mild and short-lived. Here’s what you can expect:
- Abnormal crying
- Loss of appetite
- Redness, pain, and swelling at the area of injection.
Immunization at every stage is readily available at almost every hospital in the country. However, you may need to call your hospital of choice to know their scheduled days for immunization. They do this to allow as many children to get immunized on the same day, thereby preventing wastage of tampered vaccines. For this reason, do not be reluctant to take your child for immunization when it is time. Keep your child safe by taking the immunization schedule seriously.
#Please note that development differs from one child to another
# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.
Last reviewed January 2019