In this study session, you have learned that:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Contraindications for the other antiviral vaccines are high-grade fever, or a severe allergic reaction or encephalopathy following a previous dose.
  6. 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.
  7. 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