Monsoon is at our doors and in a warm country like India, rainfall brings much-needed relief from the searing heat while nature turns all bountiful. While playing in the rain, and having fritters and tea while seeing the rainfall are some of our favourite monsoon activities, the rainy season is also a time when you run the risk of contracting communicable diseases. Children are especially vulnerable and therefore it’s important to have them vaccinated against certain diseases. Dr Suresh Kumar Panuganti, Lead Consultant-Pediatric Critical Care and Pediatrics, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad, says, “Nature springs to life in monsoon but it has its own challenges with kids at home. As much as we love the rainy season, kids need an equal amount of care to protect them from various communicable diseases. Prevention is better than cure and the best way to do it is to immunize against vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Get Monsoon-Ready: List Of Vaccines For Children
As Dr Suresh Kumar Panuganti points out, the commonly seen infections during monsoon are acute gastroenteritis, enteric fever or Typhoid fever, mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue, influenza, pneumonia, and worsening of allergic rhinitis and asthma.
Here is a list of vaccines and dos and don’ts shared by Dr Panugati:
1) Acute Gastroenteritis (AGE) is one of the most common causes of death in children under 5 years of age. It can be prevented and severity can be greatly reduced by vaccination. Rotavirus vaccination is given to infants, starting from 6 weeks of age. It is an oral formulation given in 2 or 3 doses (depending on the manufacturer) at a 1-month gap.
2) Typhoid is another common but vaccine-preventable disease. Typhoid conjugate vaccine can be given to any child above 6 months of age. Currently, a single dose of Typhoid conjugate vaccine is recommended in children, which is given as an injection.
3) Influenza is a viral disease and poses a major threat to children owing to its capability to spread rapidly and ita contagious nature. It can worsen symptoms in children with allergic tendencies and asthma. It can be easily prevented and its severity can be reduced by vaccinating the child. Children less than 3 years need to take 2 doses of influenza vaccine which acts as primary immunization; it should be followed by an annual booster dose at least until the child is 5 years old.
4) Viral exanthematous fevers like Measles and Chickenpox also rise in late summer and immediately after schools reopen owing to crowding; Vaccines are easily available against these 2 diseases as well.
5) Pneumococcal vaccine is another important vaccine that needs to be given to all children (preferably before the monsoon begins if the child had not taken a vaccine prior) and it protects against invasive pneumococcal disease and recurrent ear infections as well.
6) Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is a kind of brain infection that does not have any specific treatment but can be prevented by JE vaccination, which is cheap and easily available.
7) But it’s important to note that vaccines against Malaria and Dengue are currently not licenced for use in India.
(Views expressed by the expert quoted in the article are their own, Zee News does not confirm the same. This article is meant for informational purposes, always check with your doctor before vaccinating your child.)