WHAT YOU MUST DO IF YOU FORGET BABY’S VACCINE SHOT
We get the facts from the experts.
1 First things first: Vaccines are safe.
Vaccines work by stimulating a child’s immunity to produce antibodies against certain infectious diseases, so she can ght them if she comes into contact with them, explains Dr Flordeliza Yong, deputy director of School Health Service at Health Promotion Board.
In Singapore, vaccines are assessed to be safe for use by the Health Sciences Authority.
Minor side effects, such as a low-grade fever and soreness at the injection site, are possible reactions to some shots. But serious allergic reactions, such breathing difculty, wheezing, hives, a fast heartbeat or dizziness, are “extremely rare”, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
In fact, your child is more likely to be seriously injured by a vaccinepreventable disease such as polio, which can cause paralysis, than by a vaccine, the WHO says.
After your child’s injection, remain in the clinic’s waiting area for 15 minutes so that she can be observed for any abnormal post-vaccination reactions, says Dr Predeebha Kannan, deputy director of Primary Care Academy at National Healthcare Group Polyclinics.
Most clinics provide fever medication – to be used when necessary – and post-vaccine advice to parents. See a doctor immediately if your child’s fever persists after 24 hours or if she experiences continuous crying, ts or other serious reactions mentioned above.
2 That vaccine-autism study - it’s a hoax.
There is no evidence to support the link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, Dr Predeebha says.
The initial 1998 study by Dr Andrew Wakeeld raised concerns about the possible link and set off widespread panic among parents, but was later found to be seriously awed.
An investigation published by British medical journal BMJ concluded that the study's author misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients studied.
3 Skip or space out certain shots? Don’t risk it.
Although vaccine-preventable diseases, such as polio and measles, are now very uncommon in many countries, they continue to circulate in some parts of the world and may reappear quickly when vaccination stops, according to the WHO.
A case in point: During the rst 20 weeks of 2016, the number of measles cases in Singapore nearly tripled compared to the same period the previous year, prompting the Health Ministry to urge parents to get their children vaccinated against the infectious disease if they hadn’t already. Measles can cause serious complications, including brain infection and blindness.
In fact, diphtheria and measles vaccinations are compulsory by law in Singapore.
4 Multi ple shots in a day won’t overload Baby’s immune system.
Rest assured, studies have found that it is safe to give your baby multiple shots in a day. Some vaccines are combined into single shots so your child gets fewer injections per visit, Dr Predeebha says.
Each day, your little one is already exposed to many foreign substances that stimulate her immune system (known as antigens). According to the WHO, kids are exposed to far more antigens from a common cold or sore throat, than they are from vaccines.
Studies from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, in the US also found that babies who get multiple vaccines in their rst year of life are no more likely than those who had fewer shots to have developmental problems.
In fact, children who were fully vaccinated performed better in some areas of brain development than the group who delayed immunisations.