Hepatitis, Typhoid and other non-mandatory vaccines for your child - are they required?

Baby vaccineOur doctor has recommended vaccines in addition to the mandatory ones for my baby. I want to know more about them and if they are necessary.

Most doctors recommend some additional vaccines for babies these days, considering the fact that there are many more diseases that are preventable. While some are as important as the government prescribed mandatory vaccines, there are some that you and your doctor can decide to administer or not. Here is a list of vaccines recommended by the Indian Academy of Pediatricians. It is prudent to first discuss the vaccines with your child's doctor first and then decide to go ahead with the vaccine.

MMR vaccine The vaccine confers protections against mumps, measles and rubella. There is some controversy surrounding this vaccine linking it to autism and inflammatory bowel disease. However, a study by the WHO has concluded that there is no evidence linking the vaccine to these conditions. The child may have slight fever and rash seven to ten days after the injection.

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Hepatitis B vaccine Added to the Universal Immunization programme in India more recently (2002), the vaccine confers immunity against Hepatitis B. Hepatitis is a viral infection affecting the liver leading to jaundice and other complications in the liver. At birth, if the mother is positive for hepatitis B, the baby needs to be vaccinated within 12 hours of birth. (Read: Hepatitis B: All you need to know)

HPV vaccine for preventing cervical cancers; can be given to girls at 10 years of age. However, there has been a debate in recent times regarding usage of the same. Consult your paediatrician; find the pros and cons of the vaccine. (Read: The story behind the HPV Vaccine)

HiB vaccine for preventing meningitis (infection in the brain) caused due to Hemophilus B influenza virus.

Typhoid vaccine for preventing the bacterial infection called typhoid spread through food or drink contaminated by urine or faeces of an infected person. Starting with fever, headache, diarrhoea or constipation, rose spots on the chest, it can lead to an enlarged spleen and liver.

Read more about Typhoid-- causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and treatment

Other optional vaccines:

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for preventing pneumococcal meningitis (affecting the brain of children) or pneumonia. Since the cost of the vaccine is quite high (single dose costs as much as Rs.4000), most parents do not opt for this vaccine.

IPV (Inactivated polio vaccine) Given as an injection, this is the inactivated form of the virus (unlike the oral one which has live attenuated virus). It confers nasal and throat immunity to the virus.

Rotavirus vaccine Recommended by the WHO, it prevents rotavirus infection which causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration in children.

Influenza vaccine prevents flu or infection of the respiratory system. The vaccine holds good for a period of one year only as the constitution of the vaccine is changed every year as per the kind of flu virus prevalent at that time.

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