2. POLIO (infantile paralysis). The child needs drops in the mouth at birth, and once each month for 3 months (these are usually given with the D.P.T injections). It is best not to breast feed the baby for 2 hours before or after giving the drops.
3. B.C.G., for tuberculosis. A single injection is given into the skin of the left arm. Children can be vaccinated at birth or anytime afterwards. Early vaccination is especially important if any member of the household has tuberculosis. The vaccine makes a sore and leaves a scar.
4. MEASLES. One injection, given no younger than 9 months of age, and often a second injection at 15 months or older.
5. HepB. (Hepatitis B). Three injections at intervals of 4 weeks or more, usually given at the same time as DPT.
6. TETANUS. For adults and children over 12 years old, the most important vaccine is for tetanus (lockjaw). One injection every month for 3 months, another after a year, and then one every 10 years. Everyone should be vaccinated against tetanus. Pregnant women should be vaccinated during each pregnancy so that their babies will be protected against tetanus of the newborn (see p. 182 and 250).
In some places there are also vaccinations for cholera, yellow fever, typhus, mumps, and German measles. The World Health Organization is also working to develop vaccines for leprosy, malaria, and meningitis.
WARNING: Vaccines spoil easily and then do not work. Measles, polio, and BCG must be kept frozen or cold (under 8° C.). DPT, HepB, and Tetanus must be kept cold (0° to 8° C.) but never frozen. Vaccine that has been prepared but not used should be thrown away. Good DPT remains cloudy at least 1 hour after shaking. If it becomes clear or has white flecks in it, it is spoiled. For suggestions on how to keep vaccines cold, see Helping Health Workers Learn, Chapter 16.
Vaccinate your children on time. Be sure they get the complete series of each vaccine they need.
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