Children are exposed to aninnumerablenumber of germs, some of which can cause serious diseases. A childâ€™s immune system is still developing, and it cannot fight against all deadly diseases.
According to the World Health Organization, immunization is one of the most successful public health interventions to prevent deaths from infections such as diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus in all age groups. The 6 in 1 combination vaccination helps protect children from 6 serious illnesses: diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, haemophilus influenza type B, hepatitis B, and polio.
Polio can lead to paralysis and disability. Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver and can lead to short-term or long-term complications. Diphtheria is a serious throat infection. Tetanus can lead to muscle spasms and difficulty breathing. Pertussis is a respiratory disease that can be serious in young infants, and Hib disease also includes serious illnesses such as pneumonia or brain fever. The use of 6 in 1 vaccination could result in fewer injection pricks meaning less pain along with timely protection for the child, and less discomfort for the parents too. It could also mean fewer visits to the doctor and less time off from work or family activity.
Speaking about this, Dr. Anand Bhutada, Pediatric Intensivist & Neonatologist, Bhutada Clinic, Sitabuldi, Nagpur said, As a result of the pandemic, parents are now more aware and informed about vaccination. Combination vaccination is a boon for parents. Today, more parents choose combination vaccination as it reduces the number of injections their child has to be administered to protect them against multiple diseases, requires lesser visits to the doctorâ€™s clinic and helps save time.
According to the immunization schedule of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics 2 , children would need to take the DTP-IPV-Hib-HepB vaccines at the age of 6, 10 and 14 weeks. 6-in-1 vaccination provides protection for these 6 diseases. 6 in 1 vaccination would mean that children take only 2 injections (i.e. 6 in 1 vaccination and pneumococcal vaccination) and 1 oral vaccine (rotavirus vaccination) on each of these occasions. For more information, please consult your Paediatrician.
In recent years, India has intensified its efforts to increase immunization coverage in the country, which has resulted in significant improvement as shown by the National Family Health Survey – NFHS-5. The percentage of children aged 12 to 23 months who are fully vaccinated* has increased from 62% (NFHS-4; 2015-16) to 76.4% (NFHS-5; 2019-21) in India and from 56.2% to 73.5% in Maharashtra. A recent study 3 has also demonstrated that there has beena marked improvement in immunization coverage in rural areas, but limited improvement in urban areas.
More needs to be done to make parents aware of the benefits of immunization and the availability of vaccines, to increase full immunization coverage to 90% and beyond. With combination vaccination, children receive fewer shots which could also help provide same level of protection as they would have with separate vaccination.