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Kemaskini Pada: 16 11 2018
Versi 8.1.2
Parents encouraged to get their children vaccinated
Tarikh : 05 Nov 2018  Sumber Berita: "The Borneo Post"

Members of the audience listen to Dr Lee sharing the basic knowledge of pregnancy.

MIRI: The Ministry of Health has been encouraging parents to make sure their children receive free vaccination under the National Immunisation Programme (NIP).

However, there are still debates on vaccination itself, which discourages many parents to let their children be vaccinated.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Choong Choun Seng said parents’ decision of not vaccinating their children would cause more harm than good.

Preventive measures against illnesses in babies actually begin in the womb, whereby pregnant women are given vaccination during the nine-month pregnancy, the most common being vaccination against pertussis and flu.

“Pertussis is administered between the 28th and 36th week of pregnancy to prevent whooping cough. The flu vaccine is given to reduce flu-associated acute respiratory in pregnant women, and also to protect babies from flu during the first several months after birth,” said Dr Choong.

Dr Choong Choun Seng

These vaccinations would help produce antibodies in the mother’s body, which are then passed  to the baby.

“Babies would already have antibodies in them after birth, and therefore they are seldom sick during the first six months.

“After that, babies may start to get flu or some other sicknesses that are possibly caused by their surroundings.”

Dr Choong thus said it is important to understand that babies must receive over 20 vaccination jabs within the first two years of their life.

Vaccination required under the NIP in the first six months are: Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) – one dose; Hepatitis B – three doses; a three-in-one DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and accelullar pertussis) – three doses; Haemophilus Influenza type-B (Hib) – three doses; Polio (IPV) – three doses; and Measles – one dose. They help to strengthen babies in the fight against bacteria and viruses.

Injections required from nine months to two years are: three-in-one MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) – two doses; Japanese Encephalitis – two doses; DTaP – one dose; HiB booster – one dose; polio (IPV) – one dose; MR and DT booster that protect against diphtheria; and tetanus.”

Two other vaccinations that are equally important are Pneumococcal and Rotavirus.

“These injections are, however, usually not included in the NIP as they are quite expensive. They are available at private clinics/hospitals.”

Pneumococcal (conjugate vaccine) and Rotavirus, are usually recommended to complete three doses within the first year, beginning from the six weeks.

“Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects against serious pneumococcal infections that is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumonia. Rotavirus, on the other hand, protects against rotavirus disease that could result in vomiting and severe diarrhoea in infants and children.”

“Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheria, resulting in thick covering at the back of the throat, and could cause suffocation among infants to the extent of heart failure, paralysis and even death. Parents must not ignore these because they are very serious issues and could cost the life of their children.”

The MOH has so far launched the national–level immunisation campaign that runs from 2016 to 2020, to address the issue of vaccine refusal in the community, and to strengthen the National Immunisation Programme.

Dr Choong currently practises at Miri City Medical Centre (MCMC), and has more than two decades of experience as a paediatrician.

He also has numerous publications on general paediatric practice and in the management of newborn babies.

Last Saturday, he shared the importance of vaccination at a public seminar held at Pustaka Miri here, an event organised by MCMC.

The seminar also heard Dr Lee Joon Lung, a consultant obstetricians and gynaecologists, sharing the basic knowledge of pregnancy.