India

Don’t let pandemic delay critical childhood vaccinations, doctors say


The webinar, part of The Hindu’s Wellness Series, focused on vaccination cards, the “passports to health”, and was presented by GSK.

Childhood vaccinations are crucial to ensure the health and well-being of children, and must not be delayed or missed, stressed experts at The Hindu’s wellness webinar, held on Wednesday.

The webinar, part of The Hindu’s Wellness Series, focused on vaccination cards, the “passports to health”, and was presented by GSK. The panellists were K. Radhakrishna, senior consultant paediatrician and managing director of Omni — RK Women and Child Hospital, Visakhapatnam, and R. Kishore Kumar, consultant neonatologist and founder and chairman, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals.

“Vaccination has been the biggest contributor to the health of mankind,” Dr. Radhakrishna said. Primary vaccinations (those given in the first nine months), should not be postponed if possible — the aim is to protect the baby from deadly diseases that can kill them in the first year of life, said Dr. Kishore Kumar.

On the vaccination card, both doctors stressed its importance as a health record, and said parents could even maintain a digital record in order to ensure that the information stayed secure.

The doctors also gave a strong message about misinformation around vaccines and said this needed to be combated with vaccine advocacy and education.

Participants in the webinar posted dozens of questions, some of which were answered by the doctors. On the necessity of taking the Hepatitis A vaccine, Dr. Kishore Kumar said that Hepatitis A is a disease transmitted by contaminated water and it affects the liver. Though it is a disease that may not kill, the vaccine has no side effects, so it is a vaccine that is one he would definitely recommend.

On an adult having missed the polio vaccine as a child and wanting to know if they could take it, Dr. Radhakrishna said they could take the injectable polio vaccine.

Other questions that were addressed included a query on the meningococcal vaccine, vaccines for premature babies, the efficacy of the BCG vaccines, and taking vaccines while breastfeeding.



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