Vaccinations for Your Baby – Varicella, HepA, and IPV
Every few months it seems that it is time for your child's vaccinations again. There may be some vaccines listed on your child's vaccination record that you do not recognize: Varicella, HepA and IPV. Knowing what these vaccines are and the disease that they fight can help you to understand the need to keep your child's shots current.
Varicella is the same thing as chicken pox. It is caused by an infection of the varicella zoster virus, which cause a fever and an itchy rash. Its symptoms are a red rash that develops into blisters that cover the body. Sometimes an infected person may also develop a fever. This disease can be spread by coughing and sneezing, direct contact, and the virus seeping out of the blisters. Adults suffer much more severely than children do.
The Varicella vaccine is given in two doses. The first dose should be given when the child is one year old. The second dose can be given anytime between the ages of four and six years old. If a child that has been vaccinated does in contact with someone who has chicken pox, he may still catch it but may only suffer a milder form.
HepA stand for Hepatitis A which like Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver. This disease is spread by the fecal-oral route or by ingesting food and water that contains the virus. There are virtually no symptoms, which is the reason this disease can be so dangerous to young children by causing undetected liver damage.
The HepA vaccine is given in a series of two doses. The first dose should be given to the child when he is one year old. The second dose can be given six months following the first one.
Another vaccination that is on your child vaccination schedule is IPV, which stands for the Inactive Polio Vaccine. This disease is highly infectious and is caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. While most people associate polio with its crippling affects, in reality less than 1% of all polio cases end in permanent paralysis. Of these, only 5% to 10% die due to the paralysis affecting their respiratory systems. Up to 95% of people who have polio suffer no symptoms at all. A small percent (4-8%) suffer from fever, fatigue, nausea, headache, stiffness in the back and neck, and various other flu-like symptoms.
The Inactive Polio Vaccine is given in four doses. The first dose should be given to the child at the age of two months. The second should be administered at the age of four months. The third dose should be given to the child between the ages of six months and eighteen months. The fourth booster dose should be administered to the child between the ages of four and six years.
Vaccinations are an important part of your child's well care plan. By ensuring that he receives all his required shots, you can help your child to grow into a strong and healthy adult.