Latest (2020) Immunization/Vaccination Schedule in Nigeria
Immunization and vaccination are not the same, though many use them interchangeably. Immunization is the act of making someone resistant against a particular infectious disease agent. There are so many ways of making someone immune to a disease agent. Vaccine is one of the ways. and the process of using a vaccine to make someone immune to a disease agent is called vaccination.
Different ways of achieving Immunity
Innate immunity – are inherent. For example our skin serves as a barrier that prevents against diseases. Our airway has some projections on the surfaces that helps to push out infective organisms going down into our airway.
Adaptive immunity can be natural or artificial. The artificial can be passive or active. The natural can also be active or passive.
Passive natural immunity happens in the womb. The antibodies of the mother pass into the baby and protect the baby from those diseases.
Active natural immunity – This happens when you get the infection, suffer it, and survive it. You become naturally immune to that disease.
Passive artificial Immunity- This is the use of the serum of those that have suffered the disease and survived it, to treat others. The serum of those that have suffered and survived the disease contains the antibodies against such disease. So using the antibodies in the serum will confer immunity to the person.
Active artificial Immunity – This is where the vaccine comes in. Vaccination means the use of the organism itself or part of the organism to inject into the body. The body recognises it and produce antibodies against the organism, and the person becomes immune. The organism that is injected cannot cause disease because they are either killed to make them non infective or their strength of causing disease is reduced (attenuation).
Latest 2020 immunization/Vaccination schedule in Nigeria
You will be requires to vaccinate your child at
Birth – BCG, Polio (OPV), Hepatitis B
At 6 weeks old – Penta, Polio ,(OPV), PCV, ROTA
10 weeks old – Penta, Polio (OPV), PCV, ROTA, Meningococcal conjugate
14 weeks – Penta, Polio (OPV), PCV, Inactive polio (IPV)
At 6 months – Vitamins A
At 9 months – Measles and Yellow fever
Note: The above are the basic ones. There are other ones, which are also required, but most times are not available. Check the diagram below, and enquire from your local health center on their availability.
What is the importance of Immunization/vaccination
Vaccinating your baby promotes the health of the baby. He will not have to suffer the stress of trying to acquire the disease before developing Immunity against it.
Immunization saves time and cost. The cost of trying to cure a disease is not cheap. Not just money, but it might cost life. Prevention is better than cure.
Vaccination/Immunization programmes avails the mother the opportunity to learn health tips. Some mothers, if not for immunization programs may not have the chance of getting health talks and tips.
Challenges to childhood Immunization in Nigeria
A WHO report has it that 1 in 10 children were not vaccinated in 2016 worldwide. This should be worrisome.
- Some vaccines are not cost effective, hence People cannot afford them.
- Level of education is low. It takes an educated mother understand the importance of vaccination .
- Inaccessibility of these vaccines
- Awareness – Some are simply not aware of vaccines and it’s importance.