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Which vaccines does my child need? Paediatrician’s recommendations

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Pediatrics | Posted on 02-03-2017

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We understand the importance of your child’s health, as parents it is what worries us the most. Disease prevention is essential for your child to be able to lead a healthy life and the most effective way of protecting children from possible infectious diseases is vaccination.

In this post we will review all the vaccines that your child will need including those which are in the Spanish Association of Paediatrics’ vaccination schedule 2017 as well as those that are not.

This schedule establishes the age and the dose for each vaccine. In it we can see that the recommended vaccines are divided into funded and non-funded.

Let’s have a look at the vaccination chart:

  • Funded Vaccines. These are those which all children in Spain receive and they are free. They include the following: hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B, meningococcus C, pneumococcus, mumps, measles and rubella, chicken pox and human papilloma virus (for girls only).

In addition to these, children in Catalonia, Ceuta and Melilla are also vaccinated against hepatitis A.

 

  • Non-funded vaccines. These are those which are not included in the public health schedule, therefore they are not free and must be paid for by the patient. However the Spanish Association of Paediatrics’ Advisory Committee on Vaccines (CAV-AEP) considers it appropriate that all children receive them. The vaccines which qualify include the rotavirus and meningococcus B for babies and tetravalent meningitis vaccine in adolescents.

 

Remember that the paediatrician is the expert who should assess each case, therefore in addition to these general recommendations, there are many situations in which the schedule should be individualised due to personal circumstances.

 

The non-funded vaccines are discussed below in detail. Which are they and what are they for?

  • Rotavirus vaccine:

Rotavirus is the main cause of childhood gastroenteritis. It is also the cause of more serious symptoms, which can cause dehydration and other associated disorders in babies and young children.

This vaccine has shown to be extraordinarily effective in reducing the number and seriousness of infections due to the rotavirus, therefore avoiding hospitalisation, days of absenteeism from work and school etc, as well as preventing other pathological conditions in which this virus is implicated.

 

  • Meningococcus B vaccine:

Meningococcus B is a bacteria which causes very serious infections such as meningitis and sepsis (blood infection).

Despite the low incidence of this disease in our country in the last few years, the Advisory Committee for Vaccines recommends vaccination against meningococcus B for all children over the age of 2 months.

 

  • Quadrivalent conjugate vaccine against meningococcus ACWY:

In addition to the most common meningococcal strains in Europe named earlier: B (not funded) and C (funded), there are other serotypes which are less frequent but which have become relevant in the last few years, such as meningococcus serotypes Y and W.

 

The Spanish Advisory Committee on Vaccines recommends administration of this vaccine at the start of adolescence, in place of the monovalent vaccine against meningococcus C.

 

At the moment this vaccine is not available in pharmacies, although it is foreseen that it will be within the next few months.

 

  • Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine in males:

Males are involved in the transmission of the virus, however genital (penis, anus) cancer as well as more significantly cancer of the head and neck have also been described in men as a result of HPV.  Genital warts, which are much more frequent, are suffered equally by both sexes.

 

The two vaccines currently available against HPV protect against the types of the virus most commonly associated with these tumours. The quadrivalent vaccine also protects against the viruses involved in genital warts.

 

Although in some countries both sexes are already vaccinated against HPV, in Spain at the moment the Advisory Committee for Vaccines recommends informing parents on the possibility of male vaccination and taking an agreed decision.

 

Dr. Conejo, Paediatrician del Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional