In this study session, you have learned that:
- The common antiviral vaccines in the EPI are hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine, which is given in the pentavalent vaccine, oral polio vaccine (OPV) and measles vaccine. A rotavirus vaccine (RotarixTM) to protect against diarrhoea and dehydration caused by rotaviruses will become part of the EPI soon.
- To guarantee long-term protection, all recommended doses of the antiviral vaccines should be given. If a child misses the scheduled date for an immunization, the child should be given the missed dose as soon as possible. There is no need to restart the immunization schedule.
- The antiviral EPI vaccines are very effective and safe for children, and any adverse events following immunization are usually mild and easily managed; serious adverse events are extremely rare.
- There are no contraindications to prevent giving the oral polio vaccine; if a child vomits a dose, give a replacement dose immediately; if the child has diarrhoea at the time of vaccination, give a fifth dose at least 4 weeks after the scheduled fourth dose.
- Contraindications for the other antiviral vaccines are high-grade fever, or a severe allergic reaction or encephalopathy following a previous dose.
- Vitamin A drops should be routinely given at the same time as measles vaccine, or if a child presents with measles, to reduce the risk of eye damage which can be serious enough to cause blindness.
- Yellow fever vaccine is not part of the EPI in some countries, but may be required by travellers going abroad to certain countries.
Last modified: Tuesday, 27 May 2014, 1:50 PM