When I was expecting my daughter, I was mostly worried about the baby’s diet, sleep patterns, and even potty training! I read books on how to change diapers and bathe a newborn. As my due date arrived, I learned there was another crucial aspect of tending and nurturing. Today, I can say, this is the most important aspect of all — vaccines for your baby. The rest falls into place if you have a good support system.
While there are several vaccines to be administered at infancy, you have to take care that your child’s immunity stays strong when they grow up. As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure that they get the booster vaccines too.
During the lockdown, the one booster vaccine that I was concerned about was the DTP booster vaccine that’s administered to preschoolers in the age group of 4 – 6 years. While I was thinking whether I should be stepping out during a pandemic for a vaccine or whether I could wait for a few months since children are at home, I got the answer through my child’s doctor.
Here’s what I learnt, with a bit of background about the DTP booster vaccine.
What is the DTP Vaccine?
The Diptheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis vaccine is given to children to build a strong immune system. It protects against the following:
- Diptheria: This is a throat infection which can block the airway in children and cause severe breathing problems.
- Tetanus: Also known as lockjaw, this is a nerve disease. This can happen at any age, but mostly in children. Bacteria can contaminate a wound and make it toxic, sometimes leading to child fatality.
- Pertussis: Also known as Whooping Cough, this is a respiratory illness. It leads to severe dry coughing, often resulting in a coughing fit. The child will make a whooping sound while coughing. If not vaccinated against, even teenagers may get it at the end of their childhood phase.
What is the DTP Immunization Schedule?
DTP booster vaccines are given in cycles of 5 injections. When my pediatrician told me about them, I was mortified at the number of injections my baby would have to take. But it was all for the best, I said to myself, looking at the bigger picture.
The vaccines are given at the age of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, then between 15 to 18 months, and lastly, between the ages of 4 to 6.
Yes, this is a long process, and you need to keep a track of the date, time, and schedules of the vaccine. I went with creating a folder and had a look at it at the beginning of each month, to check whether there were any vaccinations lined up for that month.
A vaccine called Tdap is given to children around the age of 9 to 13 years. This is a booster shot, especially meant for children who might not have the pertussis coverage. Tdap is also given if the child has suffered from a deep cut or burn.
Why not Delay DTP Vaccine?
I cannot stress the importance of the DTP booster vaccine. Any of the three illnesses could severely impair your child’s growth and development. It may also result in a weak immune system, which would make him or her vulnerable later. Consult your doctor and find out about the schedules if you still haven’t.
Staying at home is not reason enough to miss booster doses. Your child could be a carrier and infect a younger sibling or elderly grandparents since they themselves have a weak immune system.
Stepping out to vaccinate is safe enough if you follow the basic precautions of sanitizing and wearing a mask. The doctors and clinics are themselves very careful and take all possible measures so that every pediatric patient stays safe. So, talk to your doctor today and get an appointment for that booster vaccine for your kid.
Your child’s DTP booster vaccine is a must. #Don’tWaitVaccinate and know more about the Right DTP vaccine.
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