All your most confusing vaccination questions answered

Mom consulting doctor about vaccination

In this chat with Dr. Mahesh Sulakshane, an eminent pediatrician with a practice in Pune, he tells you all you need to know about the life-saving, life-enhancing quality vaccines possess and what answers you need to know before you take your child in for that shot

You have been a pediatrician for so many years. What is that one thing you wish parents of infants knew about before visiting your clinic?

I wish parents know about the basics of vaccination including the disease for which it’s going to protect and it’s after effect.

What will your advice be to new parents bringing their baby for vaccination for the first time?

My advice to the new parents is to know what all vaccinations are available and how important they are to prevent respective diseases.

Are vaccinations important for babies? How do they even help?

Vaccinations are very effective tool to prevent diseases. They help develop immunity and can avoid mortality and morbidity.

What are the important vaccinations that a parent should know about and ensure the baby gets them?

Mother should know about all vaccines including BCG, Triple antigen, Polio, Pneumococcal, Meningococcal meningitis and many more.

Are painless vaccines a myth? What do they do and are they effective? What type of DPT vaccine should a parent choose?

Painless vaccination is actually a myth. The issue in concern is two types of vaccines against DPT - DTwP (whole cell) Vs DTaP (acellular). DTaP is a less pain vaccine and can cause fever and pain just like any other vaccine but as it’s an acellular vaccine, chances of severe side effects are lesser compared to the other one. It offers similar protection as that of whole cell vaccine but with the benefit of less side effects such as pain, fever and redness at the injection site. So parents should always chose safer alternative if available and affordable to respective individuals.

What is your advice to parents post vaccination?

Post vaccination it’s important to be in the doctor’s clinic for observation (for a minimum of 20 mins after vaccination) to monitor child for any effects/side effects.

This interview is part of Sanofi Pasteur’s educational initiative on vaccines. The views expressed in the interview are solely those of the doctor.

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