What is the medical care required for a newborn and a baby up to five years of age? When should DPT polio be given? What is the time table of vaccines for babies?

Dr.PREMA SHANKAR, Paediatrician, replies:-

A regular check up with a Neonatologist/Paediatrician is a must soon after birth. Regular follow-ups should be done initially once in 15 days. If there have been complications at birth or congenital anomalies, further investigations will have to be carried out. Thereafter, maintain a regular visit to the Paediatrician once a month for routine immunisation, where the doctor will also advise you about the feeding, vaccines, weight gain and also clarify doubts.

Newborns are prone to regular regurgitation (vomiting), breathing problems (transient tachyponea of the newborn), skin rashes, which appear and disappear on their own but can look alarming, apart from the feeding routines and problems.


Immunisation Schedule

At birth: BCG + OPV + HEP.B;
At six weeks: DPT + OPV + HEP.B + HIB;
At 10 weeks: DPT + OPV + HIB;
At 14 weeks: BCG + OPV + HEP.B + HIB;
At nine months: Measles vaccine;
At one year and three months: MMR Vaccine;
At one year and six months: DPT + OPV + HIB - first booster;
At two years: Typhoid vaccine;
At four years and six months: DPT + OPV second booster.
This is the schedule laid down by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, which is generally followed by most paediatricians. There are many combination vaccines, which are available but the choice rests with your paediatrician. There are now newer option vaccines like HEP A and Chickenpox can be administered after two years of age.

Magazine- THE HINDU
September 1, 2002