Monday, June 06, 2005

ouch! Vaccinations start at age two DAYS

First Injection
Even before we left the hospital, at two days old our Peanut got her first injection; the tuberculosis vaccination (BCG).

Its not mandatory, but highly recommended to protect babies born in Finland against possible cases of TB carried across the border from Russia or from across the gulf from Estonia and the other Baltics. There are many workers from the areas working in Finland as well as brisk travel for pleasure and business by Finns to the countries.

Peanut got the shot in her left thigh as part of her 'exit check-up' with the doctor. The shot often leaves a tell-tale round mark that remains for the rest of a baby's life. She did not have any adverse side effects from the shot ; only a short cry in the doctors office and now, 7 weeks later, a slightly raised scab and reddish circle at the injection site.

The American Academy of Pediatrics in their Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule for the US (Jan - June 2004) did not recommend the TB vaccine.

Schedule of Immunizations in Finland
According to the information sheet I recieved from my local health center (Neuvola), the following is the schedule of immunizations given in Finland:

AGE: less than one week
IMMUNIZATION: Tuberculosis (BCG)

AGE: 3 months
IMM: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis - whooping cough), IPV (Polio vaccine - inactive), Hib (Haemophilus influenza TypeB)
AAP: recommends first DTaP at 2 months - then 4 mos, 6 mos, 6 - 12 mos, 18 mos and 4 - 6 yrs
AAP: recommends first IPV at 2 months -then 4 mos, 6 to 18 mos and 4 - 6 yrs
AAP: recommends Hib beginning at 2 months of age

AGE: 5 months
AAP: see above

AGE: 12 months

AGE: 14 - 18 months
IMM: MPR (Measles - morbilli, mumps - parotitis, rubella)
AAP: MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) at 12 - 15 mos and before 12 yrs

AGE: 4 yrs

AGE: 6 yrs

AGE: 14 - 15 yrs

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following vaccinations not rountinely given in Finland. More specifics are available at their website

Hepatitis B (HepB) - soon after birth and before hospital discharge

Varicella (chicken pox) - at any drs visit or after age 12 months for susceptible children (those without reliable history of chicken pox)

Pneumococcal (PVC) - age 2 to 23 months

Hepatitis A - recommended for children in selected states and regions and for certain high-risk groups. Those in above regions can get first shot at any visit and booster in following 6 mos.

Influenza - annually for children above 6 mos of age with certain risk factors. Healthy children age 6 - 23 mos are encouraged to get the vaccine.

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