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Healthy Living

Some Recent Vaccines

Infectious diseases continue to be a major health hazard in all developing countries, including India. Fortunately medical research continues to give us new tools to tackle at least some of these problems. New vaccines are being discovered. These help in combating life threatening and debilitating diseases. This section will post news on the latest vaccines in the market.

  • Chicken Pox Vaccine

  • Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • Chicken Pox Vaccine

  • About Chicken Pox

  • Who is Susceptible?

  • The Advantages of Vaccination



  • About Chicken Pox

    What is Chicken Pox?

    Chicken Pox or Varicella Zoster is an infectious disease. It is usually not life threatening.

    But in some special cases it can cause complications which are serious. Its symptoms are:

    • Itchy blister on the face, limbs and trunk.
    • It may be accompanied by fever, cough, restlessness and loss of appetite.

    Route of Spread:

    • Through physical contact with the infected persons. The infected person can communicate the disease from a day or two before the rashes appear on his body to about five or six days after.
    • Through the air when the infected person coughs or sneezes
    • Through contact with a person who has shingles.
    Who is Susceptible?

    Who can get chicken pox?

    Both adults and children can get chicken pox. It is more common in children below ten years of age. But when adults get it the attack can be virulent.

    What are the complications Chicken Pox might lead to?

    Chicken pox could lead to bacterial infections from scratching the sores. It could also lead to two more serious conditions: encephalitis and pneumonia.

    About ten to twenty percent of people who have had chicken pox develop shingle later in life.

    In whom does chicken pox likely to cause more complications?

    • Infants
    • Pregnant women
    • Elderly
    • People with poor immune systems.
    The Advantages of Vaccination

    Though in most cases Chicken Pox does not lead to complications, the infected child has to be kept in isolation. For the two weeks the infection may last the child is unwell, irritable and has to be kept at home. There is unease among care givers as there is an outside chance that it may lead to complications. All these can be avoided by vaccination.

    As with all diseases prevention is better than cure. The vaccine now available is a safe and effective. It has hardly any reactions. Mild fever and irritability are possible.

    Children between 12 to 18 months can be given the Chicken Pox vaccine.

    Hepatitis B

  • About Hepatitis B

  • Who is susceptible?

  • Details about the vaccine


  • About Hepatitis B

    This is a viral infection that can cause serious problems. It is caused by the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). Chronic infection can cause serious liver damage, leading to fatalities.

    The signs and symptoms of the infection are;

    • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
    • Tiredness
    • Loss of appetite
    • Pain in the muscles, joints or stomach
    • Diarrhoea or vomiting
    The Route of Spread.

    It is a blood borne infection and can spread in the following ways:

    • From an infected pregnant mother to the child in the womb
    • Unprotected sexual intercourse
    • Unsterilised needles
    Who is susceptible?

    HBV can affect all individuals. Among adults the high risk groups are:

    • Those who are in close contact with infected persons
    • Health care workers
    • Injected drug users
    • Men who have sex with men
    • Infants born to infected mothers
    • Hemodialysis patients
    About the Vaccine:

    Engerix –B is a recombinant vaccine that is used to combat Hepatitis B. It has no live parts. It contains a portion of the outer protein of the HBV or Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). This vaccine is administered in three doses intramuscularly. Shanvac is the other brand of Hepatitis B vaccine available in India.

    What are the benefits of the vaccine?

    • Hepatitis B is a serious illness. It can lead to cirrhosis of liver or cancer of liver, even to death Therefore prevention saves a lot of trouble.
    • Vaccinating the child makes it safe against the disease in the adult years. A pregnant woman with infection can pass on the infection to the foetus, which will affect the newborn’s health. As vaccination is not advised during pregnancy, it is better to take the vaccination earlier.
    • The vaccine has been found to be safe with no serious side effects.

    Who is advised the vaccine?

    Since anybody can get Hepatitis B the vaccination is advised for all age groups. Though this vaccination has not been included in the Indian government’s mandatory vaccination list, paediatrician feel that this vaccination has real benefits and advise vaccination for children under their care. People in the high risk groups are definitely advised to take these shots.

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