Vaccination is life treatment process which deliberates the administration (through injections or oral drops) of small dosage of inactivated or weakened virus or bacteria. This is basically done to better prepare the body's immune system to fight future infection(s) and make the person immune or resistant to a particular infection. The vaccination acquaints the body with an organism without it actually experiencing a disease caused by that organism. Vaccination may have to be administered on a regular basis with a specific time gap in between. These forms of vaccines are known as ‘booster’ vaccination to help the immune system overcome a real onset of an infection. Eg: Polio.
It should also be noted that there are also optional vaccinations which are often taken into consideration. Optional vaccines, as the name suggests lets you choose to have it or not without any risk or disadvantage. It goes without saying that immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases is definitely beneficial for the individual. The merits of ‘optional’ vaccines for individual use must be considered on the basis of the degree of prevalence of the infection and disease; age prevalence of mortality, morbidity and the condition which is the cause of the previous disease. Additionally, it is also seen whether the risk of severe disease in susceptible adults after weaning of vaccine-induced immunity; and the effects of childhood vaccination in modifying future epidemiology. Socioeconomic factors are of important consideration. Some of the optional vaccinations given priority in our country are:
Haemophilus type b conjugate (Hib)- Hib is a bacteria responsible for severe pneumonia, meningitis and other invasive diseases almost exclusively in children aged less than 5 years. The stat shows that in the year 2000, Hib was estimated to have caused two to three million cases of serious disease, notably pneumonia and meningitis, and 386,000 deaths in young children.
Rotavirus- This particular virus is essentially the prime cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children. As a matter of fact, it claims 1 in 6 deaths in children under age of 5 in India. This vaccine was introduced in the UIP in a few states in 2016.
Influenza virus- To counter the influenza virus, the flu vaccine is indicated for active immunization for the prevention of disease. This virus is highly contagious and causes grave morbidity and mortality especially in the immune-compromised states.
Typhoid- Typhoid is an infection oriented fever which results due to the systemic infection mainly by S. typhi found only in man. The estimates as recent as 2014 suggest that approximately 21 million cases and 222,000 typhoid-related deaths occur annually worldwide.