Childhood Immunizations General Facts Biology Essay

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DTaP- vaccine that prevents against infection from diphtheria, tetanus and pertusis. These are life threatening infections in children. Children should receive for doses.

Hepatitis B- it's a vaccine prevents infection from the hepatitis B virus which causes liver damage, liver cancer and may lead to death.

Hib- this is a vaccine that protects against infection with Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria. This can cause life threatening infections in young children. It used to be main cause of meningitis in children under five. Children should receive four doses.

MMR- vaccine that protects against infections like measles, mumps and rubella viruses.

These infections are severe and may lead to death. Pregnant women with rubella may have a miscarriage or may give birth to children with birth defects.

Influenza- this vaccine can help prevent infections from certain strains of the influenza virus. Children over 6 months with health problems can get this vaccine.

Hepatitis A- this vaccine is recommended for children between 12 and 23 months of age.

Polio- this vaccine is given at 2 months, then again at 4 months, between 6 and 18 months and lastly between 4 and 6 years. It is not administered after 6 years.

Rotavirus- to protect against rotavirus, which causes severe diarrhea, vomiting, fever and dehydration. It's given orally, at 2 months, and at 4 months.

Varicella- vaccine against chicken pox. It's given between 12 and 15 months, and between 4 and 6 years.


General Facts

It is an acute, highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a bacterium.

It was first identified in 1578 as a highly contagious respirator disease that was characterized by paroxysms of coughing.

The name whooping comes from the noise you make after you take a breath after you cough.

It has highly infected infants younger than 6 months, if they are not immunized.

Mode of transmission.

It is spread through children from exposure to infected persons through droplets in the air. Once the bacteria are in the child's airways, swelling of the airways and mucus production begins.

Whooping cough can last up to several weeks and can lead to pneumonia. If not treated at the right time or the child not being vaccinated.

Causative agents.

It is caused by a bacterium called Bordetella Pertussis.

Signs and symptoms.

The disease usually takes one to three weeks to incubate, with the child usually passing through three stages. They include:

Early symptoms. (Early stage)

Also called the Catarrhal stage-often lasts one to two weeks.

Running nose, sneezing, low grade fever and a mild cough.

Acute Phase- may last for several weeks.

Cough gets worse and comes in severe fits.

Cough is dry and harsh.

Child may vomit with the coughing.

Late symptoms.

Recovery phase- usually begins around the fourth week.

Children may appear as though they are gasping for air, with a reddened face and may stop breathing, particularly during bad spells.

Vomiting, at this stage the whooping cough may cease for a while.

The whooping cough usually decreases around the sixth week but may continue o occasion for the next one to two months.


It can be prevented with the Pertussis vaccine which is part of DTaP immunization, which is routinely given in 5 doses before a child's sixth birthday.

Also anyone who comes into close contact with a person with one who is infected with whooping cough should receive antibiotics to avoid spread.


Plenty of rest.

Drinking a lot of fluids.

Eating small, frequent meals.

Keeping your home area free from irritants that can trigger coughing spells e.g. aerosol sprays, tobacco smoke e.t.c.


General Facts.

The full name for polio is poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis.

It is an acute viral infectious disease spread from person to person, primarily via the fecal-oral route.

It comes from the Greek word polio's, meaning "grey", myelo's, referring to the spinal cord, and the suffix -itis, which denotes inflammation.

Different types of paralysis may occur, depending on the nerves involved. Spinal polio is the most is the most common form, characterized by asymmetric paralysis is that most involves the legs.

Bulbar polio leads to weakness of muscles innervated by cranial nerves. Bulbospinal polio is a combination of bulbar and spinal paralysis.

Causative Agents.

Poliomyelitis is caused by infection with a member of the genus Enterovirus known as poliovirus (PV). This group of RNA viruses prefers to inhibit the gastrointestinal tract.

PV infects and causes disease in humans alone.

Three serotypes of poliovirus have been identified, these are poliovirus type 1, (PV1), type 2 (PV2), and type 3 (PV3). Each with a slightly different capsid protein.

All three are extremely virulent and produce the same disease symptoms.

PV1 is the most commonly encountered form, and the one most closely associated with paralysis.

Mode of Transmission.

Poliomyelitis is highly contagious and spreads easily by human- to - human contact.

In endemic areas, wild polioviruses can infect virtually the entire human population. It is seasonal in temperate climates.

The time between first exposure and first symptoms, known as the incubation period, is usually 6 to 20 days, with a maximum range of 3 to 35 days.

It is occasionally transmitted primarily via fecal-oral route, by ingesting contaminated food or water.

Polio is most infectious between 7-10 days before and 7-10 days after the appearance of symptoms, but transmission is possible as long as the virus remains in the saliva or faeces.

Signs and Symptoms.

90% of polio infections cause no symptoms, affected individuals exhibit a range of symptoms if the virus enters the blood stream.

1% of cases the virus enters the central nervous system destroying motor neurons which causes muscle weakness and flaccid paralysis


There is no cure for polio. The focus of modern treatment has been on providing relief of symptoms, speeding recovery and preventing complications.

Supportive measures include antibiotics to prevent infections in weakened muscles, analgesics for pains, moderate exercise and a nutritious diet.

Treatment of polio often requires long-term rehabilitation, including physical therapy, braces, corrective shoes and, in some cases, orthopedic surgery.

In case of pregnancy, maternal antibodies also cross the placenta, providing passive immunity that protects the infant from polio infection during the first few months of life.

Prevention Measures\Possible Immunizations

The polio vaccine is given in two forms

The first vaccine was developed in 1955 and it is called the salk vaccine as it was developed by Jonas Salk also called inactivated polio virus IPV

It is usually given in two doses via injections. It has proven effective in that at least 99% are immune after the doses

Albert Sabin developed another vaccine Oral Polio Vaccine OPV This vaccine is inexpensive east to administer and produces excellent immunity. It has therefore been the vaccine of choice for many countries.

However OPV may revert but IPV does not

Vaccines are given at 2months, 4months, between 6-18 months and between 2-6 years.