Infectious diseases are one of the leading causes of death among children1. Vaccination is one of the ways that can help protect and prevent children from getting these diseases.
The Malaysian National Immunisation Programme has been in place since the 1950s – all babies born in Malaysia are given free vaccinations2.
The immunisation programme offered by the Ministry of Health Malaysia can help prevent around 13 childhood diseases namely Tuberculosis (TB), Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), Hepatitis B, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Japanese encephalitis (JE), Mumps, Rubella and Pneumococcal2.
As parents, do pay close attention to your child’s vaccination schedule. Parents are advised to follow the vaccination schedule accordingly as it is important in helping your child to have optimal protection3.
What do you normally do before getting your child vaccinated?
Based on survey conducted on theAsianparent app(4)
There are a few important steps parents can take to prepare for their child’s vaccination, for example, more than half of the parents who responded to the survey conducted on theAsianparent app said that they would read up on information about the vaccines on the internet. 38% would read leaflets provided by medical centres or doctors about vaccines5.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor. In fact, 35% of parents from the survey agree that they would talk to their doctors to find out more about the benefits and risks of vaccines their child is taking5.
Moreover, parents can also talk to other parents that have brought their children for vaccination. 17% of parents agree that it is good to ask for their advice and find out what the side effects their child has been through after vaccination.
Do bring along your child’s vaccination card in order for your doctor to check on your child’s vaccination records5.
What are the three things you do to calm your newborn during vaccination5?
Based on survey conducted on theAsianparent app(6).
There are a few tricks and ways to soothe babies when they are getting vaccinated, and to make sure that they feel calm during the visit to the doctor’s.
Firstly, 28% of parents distract their baby with their favourite toy. 44% of parents try to talk to their baby with a soft and comforting tone while distracting them with their favourite toy.
Parents can also entertain their baby by singing their favourite song (15%) while holding and hugging them (64%). 15% of parents calm their baby down with blankets which have their smell, while 33% of mums breastfeed their baby before vaccination.
28% of parents would hold their baby in a comfortable position while looking into their eyes.
What are the three things you do to calm your older child during vaccination5?
Based on survey conducted on theAsianparent app(7)
Calming older children during vaccination may be slightly challenging as they are more likely to wriggle out of your arms or have a meltdown.
According to the survey conducted on theAsianparent app, 38% of parents point out interesting things in the room to create distractions. 59% of parents will hold their child’s hand for support and 30% will encourage them to take deep breaths.
14% of parents also try telling stories or jokes to their child as a temporary distraction, while 35% of parents hold them on their lap. Furthermore, 11% of parents offer sweets after taking their jabs.
Parents can also explain to their children that the pain from the injection is just temporary and will not last for long.
What are the 3 things you do to calm your newborn after vaccination8?
Based on survey conducted on theAsianparent app(9)
After their baby’s vaccination, 27% of parents swaddle their baby with a blanket and comfort them with a soft and calming voice. Babies are also often calmed with physical touch. 24% of parents say they hug and sway their baby close and 40% of parents will shush their babies calmly.
62% of parents say they will breastfeed, and 15% of parents let their baby suck on pacifiers or their bottles for comfort.
What are the three things you do after vaccination for older children?
Based on survey conducted on theAsianparent app(10)
For older children, 37% of parents use a cool, wet cloth to reduce soreness and swelling of the injection site, while 31% of parents will give lukewarm water baths to reduce fever5. 58% of parents agree to make sure that their child drinks more water, while 18% of parents give non-aspirin pain relievers5. 49% of parents ensure that their child gets plenty of rest.
While 39% of parents offer words of encouragement while offering cuddles and hugs after the child has gotten their vaccination. Before leaving the clinic, do consult with your doctor on what you can do for your child at home to help them reduce possible side effects of the vaccine.
Do not panic as there are possible side effects that are generally temporary after vaccination. This is because your child’s body is building antibodies naturally in order to prevent infectious diseases.
What are the effects of vaccines towards infants?
Many parents are concerned about getting their children vaccinated due to their doubt on vaccine security.
Vaccines are generally well tolerated due to its stringent and extensive research before public use. Normally there are mild side effects which may include fever, mild swelling and pain at the injected area11. If this happens, consult with your doctor or comfort your child with lukewarm baths and cold compress for mild swelling and pain5.
However, parents are encouraged to immediately see the doctor shall any of the below occur12:
- Breathing difficulties
- Unable to wake up
- Prolonged crying
Why Are Infants Vaccinated From Young Age?
Parents should know that vaccines are important in supporting infants as their immune system is weak3. By providing vaccines to your infants according to the fixed schedule, you can help protect your child from some fatal diseases13.
If your child does not receive complete vaccination on time, they are at risk to contract diseases such as measles and whooping cough13.
According to the USA’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most unvaccinated children are prone to be infected by fatal diseases, which can lead to death13.
So as parents – we are sure you want only the best for your children and families. Ask your doctor about the necessary preventive steps you can take today.
This information is provided as a professional service by MSD. The views expressed in the publication reflects the experience and opinions of the authors.
- UNICEF. Childhood diseases. Available from: https://www.unicef.org/health/childhood-diseases. Last Accessed 1 July 2022.
- Immunise4Life. The Malaysian National Immunisation Programme (NIP). Available from: https://immunise4life.my/the-malaysian-national-immunisation-programme-nip/. Last Accessed 1 July 2022.
- MyHealth. Immunisation: Facts and Myths. Available from: https://www.myhealth.gov.my/imunisasi-fakta-dan-kemusykilan/. Last Accessed 1 July 2022.
- theAsianparent Survey. What do you normally do before getting your child vaccinated?. Retrieved on 20 July 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Before, During, and After Your Shots. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/visit/before-during-after-shots.html. Last Accessed 1 June 2022.
- theAsianparent Survey. What are the 3 things you do to calm your newborn during vaccination?. Retrieved on 20 July 2022.
- theAsianparent Survey. What are the 3 things you do to calm your older child during vaccination?. Retrieved on 20 July 2022.
- KidsHealth. How Can I Comfort My Baby During Shots? Available from: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/baby-vaccinations.html. Last Accessed 20 July 2022.
- theAsianparent Survey. What are the 3 things you do to calm your newborn after vaccination?. Retrieved on 20 July 2022.
- theAsianparent Survey. What are the 3 things you do after vaccination for older children?. Retrieved on 20 July 2022.
- World Health Organization (WHO). Vaccines and Immunization: Vaccine Safety Q&A. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/vaccines-and-immunization-vaccine-safety. Last Accessed 15 June 2022.
- Seattle Children’s Hospital. Immunization Reactions. Available from: https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/immunization-reactions/. Last Accessed 20 July 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Answers to Your Most Common Questions about Childhood Vaccines. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/FAQs.html. Last Accessed 1 July 2022.