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“Do boond zindagi ki” –Pulse Polio Initiative, Government of India
The results of Pulse Polio Initiative, as we all know, have been outstanding, with cases decreased by over 99% in 2018 from 1988. Thanks to Amitabh Bachchan too.
Vaccination (injecting weakened pathogens) is essential as they shield individuals from contagious and deadly illnesses by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies, thereby preparing the body for actual disease.
At birth, the child is provided with a chart of vaccinations to be given from 2months to 6 years of age like BCG. MMR, Hepatitis etc. While most parents follow it diligently, some are plagued by myths around vaccination. Let’s debunk the most common myths around vaccination:
Myth: With most diseases in the vaccination chart disappeared, vaccination is not needed.
Reality: While diseases like polio being rare, they are still prevalent in some parts of the country.
Moreover, any ‘imported’ case from polio endemic regions can spread the disease in your region and affect your child in cases of an outbreak.
Myth: Following the vaccination chart is too aggressive for the baby’s body.
Reality: The body is capable of handling these doses without overloading. Placing vaccination closely in a period of time window is to immunize them against diseases that kill young ones rapidly. Also, visiting hospitals over and over for one injection at a time causes loss of money.
Myth: Vaccines have harmful effects; my baby is in pain post vaccination.
Reality: Vaccines have weakened/dead viruses of a disease. Hence they CANNOT cause disease. But due to inactive virus present in the body, the after effects like fever, vomits are body’s response to build an immunity to that virus. Your baby is safe.
Myth: Vaccines are not 100% effective.
Reality: There has been no medical invention than has ever been 100% successful. But vaccines have 85-95% success rates. So, seeing your baby in pain while receiving the shot is better than seeing it suffer from deadly diseases later.
Myth: I am breastfeeding my child, it has antibodies.
Reality: While mothers do provide immunity to the child via breastmilk and placenta while in womb, these antibodies fade by the time the child is 5-6 years old. Hence breastmilk is no substitute for vaccines.
Go get your child vaccinated!