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Vaccines for children are able to prevent a certain disease and reduce complex cases of disease symptoms. Approved vaccines are effective in preventing disease and protecting children when given correctly. In some circumstances, a person can still get the disease even after receiving the recommended doses of the vaccine against it. This is due to the fact that the person does not develop sufficient immunity against the disease or the immunity weakens over time. However, in such cases, the symptoms of the disease are often milder than they would have been without vaccination. They are also less likely to infect others.

Vaccines protect people from diseases that can have serious health consequences, such as:

1 in 10 people die from diphtheria, even with treatment

(1); nearly 9 out of 10 babies born to mothers who had rubella during early pregnancy suffer from congenital rubella syndrome (with conditions such as deafness, cataracts and learning disabilities)

(2); meningococcal infection kills 1 in 10 people who become infected, even with prompt diagnosis and treatment, and complications, including neurological or hearing impairment and amputation, occur in up to 20% of survivors

(3); measles is highly contagious and 3 in 10 people develop complications

(4), which can include ear infections, diarrhoea, pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of brain tissue); whooping cough (whooping cough) can be particularly serious in babies, causing coughing fits that can recur for up to two months. Complications include pneumonia, encephalopathy (brain disease), seizures, and even death

(5). This list, with examples, includes diseases for which vaccines are included in national childhood immunization programs and/or are administered to individuals at increased risk of developing the disease.


(1)ECDC Fact Sheet – Diphtheria:https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/diphtheria/facts

(2)ECDC fact sheet – Congenital rubella syndrome:https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/congenital-rubella-syndrome/facts

(3)ECDC fact sheet – Meningococcal disease:https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/meningococcal-disease/factsheet

(4) JAV CDC book – measles: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/meas.html

(5) ECDC fact sheet – Whooping cough: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/pertussis/facts


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Abbreviations: BCG – tuberculosis vaccine; HepB – hepatitis B vaccine; DTaP – whooping cough (acellular), diphtheria, tetanus vaccine; Hib – Haemophilus influenzae type B infection vaccine; Tdap – pertussis (acellular), diphtheria, tetanus (adult) vaccine; IPV – inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine; PCV – pneumococcal infection (polysaccharide conjugate) vaccine; MMR – measles, mumps, rubella vaccine; HPV – human papilloma virus infection vaccine; RV – rotavirus infection vaccine; MenB – meningococcal type B vaccine. The first dose of HepB* must be given to the newborn within 24 hours. after birth PCV** and MenB** can be given together (in one visit) with the MMR** vaccine. Only girls are vaccinated with HPV***, the vaccination scheme consists of two doses of HPV (the period between the first and second HPV doses must be at least 6 months). The third dose of RV**** is given if vaccination with pentavalent RV and the three-dose schedule is indicated in the Summary of Product Characteristics. Vaccinations are carried out according to the summary of characteristics of the medicinal product. Before each child’s vaccination, parents or legal guardians must be informed about the administration of vaccines and possible adverse reactions to vaccination. In order to receive information and consent to vaccination, they must sign the Consent for Health Care Services provision form. If the child is not vaccinated on time, an individual vaccination calendar is prepared for him according to the indications specified in the summaries of the characteristics of medicinal products.

Advantages of vaccination

Vaccines protect children against diseases that could otherwise cause serious health problems, permanent disability or even death. Every year, hundreds of millions of people around the world use vaccines to protect themselves from serious diseases.

For example, in 2018 about 86% of infants worldwide have received three doses of the vaccine to protect them against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP), and 85% of infants worldwide have received three doses of the polio vaccine.

Unlike treatment to cure a disease, healthy people are usually vaccinated to prevent them from getting sick. Therefore, the long-term benefits of vaccination may not be immediately apparent. Many infectious diseases are very rare today thanks to vaccinations, so the negative consequences of these diseases are sometimes forgotten. If people stopped vaccinating, many of these diseases and related outbreaks could return.

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