What is the use of Prevnar and Rotarix vaccine?
Q: Our one-month-old baby has been advised the vaccines - Prevnar and Rotarix apart from the regular vaccines by the doctor. We are a bit confused whether to go for these or not. Cost is not the concern for us. Also the doctor told us that 90% of Indians don’t go for it, so we too are thinking that if 90% of babies are fine with it then so will be ours. Is it true that with so many vaccine shots the babies immune system does not develop the way it would had without it?
A:These are newer vaccines that offer protection against pneumonia or meningitis due to one organism, namely pneumococcus (Prevnar) and against diarrhoea due to rotavirus, which is one of the many agents that can cause diarrhoea (Rotarix). Both the vaccines are safe and effective and their addition to the usual armamentarium does not weaken the immune system. These vaccines thus offer protection against two diseases that do occur in children. If you can easily afford the cost (roughly Rs. 16,000/- for full course of Prevnar and Rs. 2000/- for Rotarix) then you should go ahead and immunize the child, otherwise do not lose sleep over it.