It is the birth right of every child to immunized against preventable disease to prevent disability and death. Immunization is the biggest medical achievement of the last century and by far the most cost effective health care intervention. Edward genner was the first to document successful cow-pox inoculation in 1796. The second waxing to the developed was by Louis Pasteur in 1885. WHO established an international immunization programme under the expanded programme of immunization. The vaccination programmes have under gone many changes since then and this has achieved great success with eradication of small pox and control of polio.

The world immune (A Greek word) means to protect. The protecting offered is by antigen -antibody reaction called acquired immunity. Immunization is two types i.e. active & passive. Specific antigen creates active immunity, whereas immunoglobulins and sera create passive immunization.

Various types of Vaccines:-

  • Live, Bacteria Attenuated – BCG, Ty21A
  • Live Virus attenuated – OPV, MMR, Varicella
  • Killed Bacteria Pertussis, S. Typhi
  • Killed Virus - IPV, Rabies, Hepatitis A
  • Capsular – Typhoid Vi, HiB, Meningo, Pneumo
  • Viral subunit – HbsAg
  • Bacterial subunit – Acellular Pertusis

The vaccination have under gone radical changes with regards safety profile, combination vaccines to reduce pain and reactions, new regims etc.

These day Hepatitis A & B, DPT+Hib+HepatitisB etc. exist as combination vaccines. These vaccines decrease the disease burden & the cost of expenditure on health care.

Vaccinations are available during epidemics like Japanese encephalitis, meningococcal, etc. The vaccines available for high risk groups are pneucoccal, influenza, rabies etc.

There is specific vaccine protocol for international travelers and health care workers. Combination vaccines under development are those of MMR + Varicella, DPTac+Hib+IPV+HIB+HIA. Those patients who are immuno compromised, or those with prematurely, HIB etc. also require a specific schedule.

The vaccines are stored at specific temperatures ranging from 2 to 8 degree centigrade. This is a vital link in immunization to maintain the potency of the vaccines. Other vaccines which would be made available in time to come are route a virus vaccine, Avian flue vaccine, dengue vaccine etc.