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Vaccination For Kids

All babies should be administered the scheduled doses of vaccines at the right time to build immunity against a wide variety of life-threatening diseases...


Vaccines have proved to be life savers for millions of people all over the globe. By successful immunization, our country has eradicated the dreaded polio disease that left many people crippled for life. All babies should be administered the scheduled doses of vaccines at the right time to build immunity against a wide variety of life-threatening diseases.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines contain weakened parts of a particular organism (antigen). The entry of these weak antigens does not result in manifestation of disease but triggers a strong immune response within the body. 

Essential vaccines vs optional vaccines-Essential vaccines are those vaccines which are provided by government hospitals free of cost as part of immunization program.

On the other hand, optional vaccines are those vaccines that are also crucial to be administered to provide protection against diseases but are not provided by the government hospitals due to cost constraints. The name ‘optional’ is a misnomer in this case as these vaccines are equally important to be administered as the essential ones.

PCV is an example of an optional vaccine which protects against pneumonia. Pneumonia is a deadly disease in young ones which kills one child in every 39 seconds. However, the government has been unable to include this vaccine in the list of essential vaccines yet.

Private clinics follow IAP (Indian Academy of Paediatrics) Immunization Schedule. In addition to essential vaccines, the optional ones are also included in the IAP schedule.

Those who are opting to provide vaccines to their kids at government hospitals can opt to administer their children optional vaccines at private clinics separately.

Govt hospitals vs private hospitals

List of essential vaccines for babies

1) BCG vaccine - This vaccine is used to protect against tuberculosis and is administered soon after birth. A nodule develops for life at the site of injection (left upper arm).

2) OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) - to protect against polio

3) TT (Tetanus Toxoid) - to protect against tetanus disease which affects the nervous system and causes painful contractions of the jaw muscles

4) Hepatitis B vaccine - To protect against Hepatitis B which is a serious liver disease

5)DTwpP/DTaP - to provide protection against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough)

6) MMR - to provide protection against measles, mumps and rubella

7) Hib - to provide protection against Haemophilus Influenzae Type B vaccine

8) iPV (inactivated poliovirus vaccine) - This is given in addition to OPV drops to provide complete protection to children against polio.

9) Rotavirus - This vaccine is given to protect against diarrhoea caused by rotavirus and is highly contagious.

10) Vitamin A supplements - Mega doses of vitamin A are administered to children aged between 9 months to 59 months to protect against night blindness.

11) Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine - JE vaccine offers protection against Japanese Encephalitis which is spread by bite of infected mosquito. JE vaccine is mandatory in endemic areas.

Optional Vaccines

1)TCV (Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine) - This vaccine offers protection against typhoid which is caused by bacterium Salmonella typhi infection.

2)HPV - In many countries, HPV vaccine is given to both boys and girls of 10-12 years of age. However, in India, this vaccine is preferably given to girls of this age or at least before they become sexually active. This vaccine protects against genital warts and cervical cancer. 

3)PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine) - PCV 10(10-valent) and PCV 13(13-valent) are two vaccines available to provide against pneumococcal diseases. PCV 10 protects against 10 strains of pneumococcal virus while PCV 13 offers protection against 13 strains. The cost of PCV 13 vaccine is significantly higher than the PCV 10 vaccine.

4)Influenza H1N1-flu shot-yearly shots - This vaccine offers protection against flu disease and should be taken every year for babies between 6 months to 9 years of age.  New versions of the flu vaccines are developed twice a year, as the influenza virus rapidly mutates.

5)Varicella-This vaccine protects against chicken pox.

IAP Vaccination Schedule




BCG, OPV 0, Hepatitis B-1

6 weeks

IPV-1, DTwP-1, Hepatitis B2, Hib-1, Rotavirus 1, PCV 1

10 weeks

DTwP-2, IPV-2, Hib-2, Rotavirus-2, PCV-2

14 weeks

DTwP-3, IPV-3, Hib-3, Rotavirus-3, PCV-3

6 months

OPV 1, Hep B 3+Influenza

9 months

OPV2, MMR 1+Influenza

9-12 months

Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine

12 months

Hep-A 1

15 months

MMR 2, Varicella 1, PCV Booster

16-18 months

DTwP B1/DTap Booster 1, IPV B1, Hib Booster 1

18 months

Hep-A 2

2 years

Booster of Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine

4-6 years

DTwP B 2/DTaP Booster-2, OPV 3, MMR 3, Varicella 2

10-12 years

Tdap/Td, HPV (only for females, three doses at 0,1-2 and 6 months)



Nasrin Zaman is a software engineer by profession. She likes travelling to various places and enjoying the beauty of Mother Nature. She also loves photography and reading various kinds of books in her leisure time. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.



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