Immunization is the process of using a vaccine for strengthening the immune system of a child to protect them from various diseases. Children, shortly after birth, are administered with specific vaccines that will bolster their immune systems.

Vaccination is one of the most sought after preventive medicine that is given to infants for effectively protecting them from many of the diseases throughout their lifetime. It is a weakened form of the disease-causing germ or bacteria that once administered will cause the body to develop the specific antibodies to fight each time the germ enters the body.

The importance of immunization is highlighted by the fact that communicable and other serious diseases account for most deaths among infants and adults worldwide. Appropriate administering of the vaccines at the right time through an affordable health clinic is crucial for protecting the child from diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, measles, Hepatitis B, rotavirus, chickenpox, whooping cough, polio, mumps, rubella, etc. Below are some of the commonly administered vaccines for infants offered at our low income health clinics.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

This vaccine helps in protecting the child from contracting Hepatitis B, which is a serious infection of the liver. It is administered at birth in three doses. The first dose is given before discharge from the hospital or affordable health clinic and second at the age of 1 or 2 months. The third dose is administered at the age of about 6-18 months.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertussis Vaccine (DTaP)

DTaP vaccine is given to infants for protecting them against diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). It is administered at a minimum age of six weeks. The doses are given periodically in ages of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12-15 months. The final dose is administered at the age of 4-6 years.

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine (MMR)

This vaccine is administered to the child to protect them from diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella. It is given to the child at a minimum age of 12 months. The vaccine is administered as two doses at ages of 12-15 months and 4-6 years.

Pneumococcal Vaccine

This vaccine will help boost the immune systems against Streptococcus Pneumoniae that cause pneumonia, meningitis, and ear infections. It is administered at a minimum age of six weeks in doses at periodic intervals such as two, four, six, and twelve months.

Rotavirus Vaccine

Rotavirus vaccine offers effective protection to the child against rotavirus. It causes diarrhea among infants and young children. The vaccine is administered at a minimum age of six weeks orally in two or three doses.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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