Vaccinate against Hib
Well over half of all purulent meningitis in childhood was caused by the disease. Before 1990, every 500th child infected with the pathogen. Thereafter, the Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) vaccine was introduced with great success: infection numbers dropped to about 100 every year. According to information from the Robert Koch Institute, Hib infections with epiglottitis or meningitis are now registered with only around 50 people per year. But the other side of the story is that many people believe vaccines are not more than essential. The vaccine is well tolerated by all children, only occasionally it comes to reactions at the injection site such as transient redness, swelling and pain or short-term swelling of the lymph nodes. Rarely are flu-like symptoms or rash.
How and when is vaccinated?
The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) at the Robert Koch Institute recommends vaccination against Hib for all infants at the end of the second month of life according to the vaccination calendar for children and adolescents. For primary immunization, three doses of vaccine are administered at intervals of at least four weeks from the second month of age. A fourth vaccination takes place at least six months apart from the previous third vaccination, ie between the 11th and 14th month of age. For basic immunization, the Hib vaccination z. B. with a combination of six times simultaneously vaccination against tetanus, poliomyelitis, whooping cough, diphtheria and hepatitis B are performed. Booster vaccinations against the Hib bacterium are not provided with a completed primary vaccination.
From the age of five, the Hib vaccine will only be given in exceptional cases. The vaccine is a dead vaccine containing only characteristic surface structures (antigens) of the bacterium. This makes the vaccine well tolerated. The vaccine is injected into a muscle, either sideways in the buttocks or the upper arm or thigh muscle. If the child is ill should not be vaccinated, but the pediatrician carefully examines the small patient before vaccination.
What happens during vaccination?
With a vaccine you become immune without having to go through the illness in full force. The human immune system receives whole pathogens or pathogens via the vaccine. The body reacts with its defense mechanisms, where it forms antibodies. In vaccinations with attenuated pathogens occasionally a weak disease of the disease can occur. Vaccines can contain either attenuated, reproducible bacteria or viruses (live vaccines such as measles, chickenpox, typhoid orally) or inactivated pathogens (dead vaccines such as tetanus, diphtheria or hepatitis B).
Dead vaccines contain either the whole, inactivated microorganism, or only those parts thereof that can elicit a protective immune response. The aim of the vaccine is that the body can respond much faster in a later "real" infection with the pathogen or already has defenses available.