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Written By THT Editorial Team

Reviewed by Dr. Ram Prasad Neupane , DM MDGP,  Professor at Tribhuvan University, Maharajgunj Medical Campus

Vaccination are critical tools for preventing and managing various diseases. Vaccines work by introducing a weakened or inactive form of a virus or bacteria into the body, which triggers an immune response. This immune response allows the body to recognize and fight the virus or bacteria in the future, which can prevent illness or reduce its severity.

In Nepal, vaccination efforts have been crucial in preventing the spread of communicable diseases. The government of Nepal, along with various international organizations, has implemented several vaccination programs to protect the population from diseases such as measles, rubella, polio, and hepatitis B. These programs have been particularly successful in reducing the incidence of communicable diseases among children.

For example, the measles vaccine has been a significant contributor to the reduction in measles cases in Nepal. In 2018, Nepal launched a nationwide measles-rubella vaccination campaign, aiming to reach over 12 million children aged 9 months to 15 years. The campaign targeted hard-to-reach areas and populations with low coverage, resulting in a significant increase in measles vaccination coverage. As a result of these efforts, the number of measles cases in Nepal decreased from over 2,400 in 2016 to just 118 in 2019.

In addition to preventing the spread of diseases, vaccination also play a crucial role in managing chronic illnesses. For example, individuals with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma are at increased risk of developing complications from infectious diseases. By getting vaccinated, individuals with chronic illnesses can reduce their risk of developing serious complications or hospitalization from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Overall, vaccination are critical components of disease prevention and management efforts. These programs not only protect individuals from infectious diseases but also contribute to the overall health of the population. It is important to continue to prioritize and invest in vaccination and immunization programs to ensure that everyone has access to these lifesaving interventions.
Here is a list of vaccines that are typically given to a child since birth:

1. Hepatitis B: Given within the first 12 hours of birth

2. DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis): Given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age
3. Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b): Given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age
4. IPV (polio): Given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age
5. PCV13 (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine): Given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age
6. Rotavirus: Given at 2 and 4 months of age
7. Hepatitis A: Given at 12 months of age
8. MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella): Given at 12 months of age
9. Varicella (chickenpox): Given at 12 months of age
10. DTaP booster: Given at 15-18 months of age
11. Hib booster: Given at 12-15 months of age
12. IPV booster: Given at 4-6 years of age
13. MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella): Given at 4-6 years of age
14. DTaP booster: Given at 11-12 years of age

HPV (human papillomavirus): Given at 11-12 years of age (can be given as early as 9 years old)
Here are some other commonly used vaccines for adults and children:
1. HPV vaccine: protects against the human papillomavirus, which can cause several types of cancer.
2. Meningococcal vaccine: protects against meningococcal disease, a serious bacterial infection that can cause meningitis and blood infections.
3. Pneumococcal vaccine: protects against pneumococcal disease, which can cause pneumonia, meningitis, and blood infections.
4. Hepatitis A vaccine: protects against hepatitis A, a viral infection that can cause liver inflammation.
5. Hepatitis B vaccine: protects against hepatitis B, a viral infection that can cause liver inflammation and potentially lead to long-term liver problems.
6. Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine: protects against chickenpox, a highly contagious viral infection that causes a blister-like rash, itching, and fever.
7. Rotavirus vaccine: protects against rotavirus, a common cause of severe diarrhea and dehydration in infants and young children.

Vaccine myths:
There are many myths and misconceptions about vaccines that can cause confusion and lead to vaccine hesitancy. Some common vaccine myths include:

Vaccines cause autism: This myth has been thoroughly debunked by multiple studies, yet it still persists in some communities.
Vaccines are not necessary because the diseases they prevent are rare: While it is true that some vaccine-preventable diseases are now less common in certain parts of the world, this is largely due to the widespread use of vaccines. If vaccination rates were to drop, these diseases could quickly make a comeback.
Vaccines can cause serious side effects: While all vaccines can cause some side effects, serious reactions are extremely rare. The benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.
Natural immunity is better than vaccine-induced immunity: While natural immunity can be effective, it comes at a cost. Many vaccine-preventable diseases can cause serious complications, including death. Vaccines provide a safe and effective way to build immunity without the risk of serious illness or death.
Vaccines contain harmful ingredients: Some people are concerned about the ingredients in vaccines, such as thimerosal (a preservative) or aluminum. However, these ingredients are used in such small amounts that they are not harmful.