Vaccination, or immunisation, prevents disease, disability and death among young children. A vaccine introduces small amounts of a killed or weakened virus, bacteria or part of it into baby, stimulating her body to beef up its immune system. In this way, baby becomes immune to the disease it can cause.
Is your baby protected from the 10 deadly diseases?
The Ministry of Health Malaysia and the Malaysian Paediatric Association strongly recommend that your baby receives the full course of vaccines:
- Tuberculosis (TB)
What: Contagious and fatal, tuberculosis can cause lung damage, TB meningitis, bone disease
Prevented by: BCG vaccine
When: At birth
- Hepatitis B
What: A viral infection that can lead to jaundice or liver cancer
Prevented by: A series of three injections of Hepatitis B vaccine
When: At birth; at 1 & 5 mths
What: Diphtheria causes obstruction of the airway and can lead to heart and brain damage
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
What: Severe, prolonged coughing fits that can cause lung and brain infections
- Tetanus (Lockjaw)
What: Severe muscle spasms that can lead to death
- Poliomyelitis (Polio)
What: Permanent muscle weakness that can cause paralysis, especially of the legs
Prevented by: Polio vaccine either given orally or injected with DTP
When: At 2, 3 & 5 mths; 1st booster shot at 18 mths; 2nd booster shot at 6 to 7 yrs
- Haemophilus influenzae B (HIB)
What: Inflammation of membranes around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), pneumonia, bronchitis, bacteremia, ear infection and epiglottitis
Prevented by: HIB vaccine
When: At 2, 3 & 5 mths; given with DTP
What: Highly contagious, measles is characterised by fever, cough, runny nose and rashes
What: Highly infectious, mumps causes swelling of the glands behind the jaws. It is characterised by fever and pain when chewing, and can lead to inflammation of testicles, ovaries, brain and pancreas.
- Rubella (German Measles)
What: With symptoms similar to measles, Rubella may be passed from pregnant women to their babies. Main danger is to babies born with congenital rubella syndrome.
Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus can be prevented by: DTP or Triple antigen vaccine
When: At 2, 3 & 5 mths; 1st booster shot at 18 mths; 2nd booster shot for DT at 6 to 7 yrs
Measles, mumps and rubella can be prevented by: MMR vaccine
When: At 12 to 15 mths; at 7 yrs
Vaccinations against Chicken Pox, Hepatitis A, Pneumococcal Disease and Japanese Encephalitis ( JE) may not be mandatory but they are highly recommended. Have your baby vaccinated at any public or private hospital/clinic. If unsure, ask your doctor for advice.