IMMUNIZE YOUR CHILD AGAINST PNEUMONIA (Part 2)

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What is Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine or PCV10?

The vaccine will protect your child against the most severe types of pneumonia common in Nigeria. These account for the causes of pneumonia-related deaths among children under five years. If a child already vaccinated with PCV10 contacts pneumonia, it will be mild

How can I protect and prevent my child from contracting pneumonia?

Pneumonia can be prevented through vaccination with the PCV10 vaccine. In addition to vaccination, you can prevent pneumonia by doing the following:

  • Reduce overcrowding and indoor air pollution
  • Improve your nutrition
  • Practise exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life of your baby
  • Regular hand washing with soap/ash and water
  • Avoid contact with mucus or cough particles

Who is eligible to receive the PCV10 vaccine?

Your child should receive 3 doses of the vaccine before he/she is one year.

Why is it that only children below one year of age are receiving this vaccine in Nigeria?

Although children aged below 5 years are most vulnerable to pneumococcal diseases, the burden of the disease is highest in children below one year. In introducing this vaccine, the government has decided that children below one year should be vaccinated at the earliest opportune time.

Can older children and adults receive this vaccine?

The PCV10 vaccine that is being introduced is specifically formulated for younger children. Older children and adults with special conditions may receive a different type of PCV vaccine although this is not available in the current immunization program.

Is it safe to give my child two vaccine injections at the same time?

Yes. The PCV10 and Pentavalent vaccines given at the same time are safe and effective for protecting against the two most common and serious bacteria causing childhood pneumonia and meningitis. The pain your child may experience with two injections is no greater than when the injections are given during separate visits.

Is the vaccine safe?

Yes, the vaccine is safe and effective.

Are there any side effects for this vaccine?

Occasionally, children vaccinated with this vaccine with this vaccine may develop a mild fever, swelling, redness, or hotness where the child had the injection. Most children recover quickly from mild reactions. However, if the side effects persist, please take your child immediately to the nearest health facility.

Will it make a difference if my child is not immunized at 6, 40 and 14 weeks? Does the timing difference really matter?

Your child must receive all the vaccinations necessary at the time when they are supposed to (i.e. at 6, 10, and 14 weeks). You may put your child at risk of contracting diseases if he/she is not vaccinated at the right time. Nigeria’s immunization schedule is developed to ensure that your child is immunized at a time when they are most at risk of contracting diseases or complications. However, do not hesitate to take your child for vaccination even if he/she is late but under 1 year.

If my child is sick, is it okay for him/her to receive the vaccination?

If your child has a mild condition like a common cold, he/she can be vaccinated. But if he/she has any severe illness, as determined by a health worker (e.g. fever above 390C), you should wait until the condition improves before vaccinating your child.

After my child is vaccinated with the PCV10 vaccine, can he/she still contract pneumonia?

This vaccine will protect your child against the most severe types of pneumonia. However, the bacteria that cause pneumonia are multiple. There is a small risk of your child contracting other forms of pneumonia but this risk is lower compared to children who are not vaccinated with this vaccine.

If my child is HIV positive, should he/she be vaccinated with this vaccine?

Yes, this vaccine is safe to be administered to children who are HIV positive.

I always ensure my child is warm. Isn’t this enough to protect against pneumonia?

Keeping the child warm is important but it is not enough to prevent pneumonia. Pneumonia is an airborne disease that is transmitted from person to person. It is important that your child is vaccinated against the infection.

Culled from National Primary Health Care Development Agency

Shammah Christian Hospital

Shammah Christian Hospital

In keeping with the hospital Christian ideology of giving back, Shammah Christian Hospital is committed to continually educating the public, using this blog as to medium to bring timely and educative publications, that enrich the lives and health of the public at large.

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