Frequently Asked Questions on Immunization
What is immunization?
The World Health Organization defines immunization as a process whereby a person is made resistant or safe from an infectious disease by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease.
What are vaccines?
According to the WHO, a vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. These are made from killed or weakened forms of the disease-causing organism, they make the body’s immune system recognize, destroy, and remember the organism. This means that the body will be able to recognize and destroy upon meeting with it at a later date.
What vaccines must my baby have?
For a brief rundown, every Filipino child is recommended to be vaccinated for the following: BCG, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus (DPT), Polio, Rotavirus, Haemophilus influenzae B, pneumococcus, measles, mumps-measles-rubella (MMR), influenza, varicella, Hepatitis A, and Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
The Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS), Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) and the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV) annually release a Childhood Immunization Schedule, which contains the vaccines that are recommended for every child along with the recommended schedule for each of the vaccines. (See Childhood Immunization Schedule 2015)
What should I do if I miss the vaccination date?
There are different schedules for each vaccine. Ask your doctor for the schedule of the next shot and mark it on your calendars. Should you miss the vaccination date, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible in order to find out if the series can continue as is or if there is a need to restart the series.
Will multiple shots harm my baby?
The schedule of immunization gives the recommended number of doses for each vaccine. Some vaccines are recommended for 3-dose series, while some are scheduled only for a 2-dose series.
Vaccines can be safely administered together during a single visit, provided that these are given in different sites. Remember to ask your doctor what vaccines your child will receive during the visit.
What should I expect after vaccination?
The period after vaccination depends on the type of vaccine your baby received. Mostly, there are no ill effects after vaccination. Some may expect fever and some redness and/or pain at the injection site.
It would also be best to watch out for allergic reactions. Should this happen, do not hesitate to bring your baby back to the doctor for anti-allergy medications. Cases like these should be reported to the doctor ASAP.