The concept of immunising children was implemented to reduce the spread of disease. Since its implementation, it has been proven to be successful with several diseases. Diseases like smallpox and polio have been successfully eradicated.
These are diseases which may, in rare cases, cause disability and can even result in death.
The Malaysian government has a recommended vaccination schedule for parents to follow. The schedule is for newborns up to when your child is 15 years old. The vaccination schedule is designed to protect your children against major childhood diseases that have been crippling and deadly in the past.
The vaccination schedule helps protect your child against:
- Tuberculosis (TB) which can result in lung damage, TB meningitis and bone disease.
- Hepatitis B which is a viral infection that can lead to jaundice or liver cancer.
- Diphtheria which causes obstruction of the airway and can lead to heart and brain damage.
- Whooping cough that can cause lung and brain infections
- Tetanus, or lockjaw, which causes severe muscle spasms that can lead to death.
- Polio that is known to cause paralysis, especially of the legs.
- Measles which can be complicated by pneumonia, encephalitis and otitis media (middle ear infection).
- Rubella which can be passed by pregnant women to their babies, resulting in congenital rubella syndrome.
- Haemophilus influenzae type b which is a bacteria responsible for severe pneumonia, meningitis and other invasive diseases almost exclusively in children younger than 5 years old.
The recommended vaccinations include BCG, Hepatitis B, DTaP, Polio, MMR and Hib, and can be between one to five doses. Each dose is safe and should be done by a medical professional.
Vaccinating your child also means you’re helping to protect more vulnerable children who might not be able to be vaccinated due to medical reasons. This herd immunity serves to protect the community and helps prevent the spread of deadly diseases.
As a community, if we are aware and immunise our children, other serious diseases will also be successfully eradicated for our children, their children, and other future generations.