With a three-month vaccine, your child gets protection against seven different bacteria or viruses, which can cause even more diseases. The three-month vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, hepatitis B, Hemophilus influenzae type B and against pneumococci. At BVC, the child receives two syringes of three months vaccine: one syringe with 6 vaccines mixed (hexavalent vaccine) and one syringe with pneumococcal vaccine. You also give the same two vaccines as a five-month vaccine and a 12-month vaccine at BVC.
The most important protection against whooping cough is first
Whooping cough is a bacterial infection that causes severe pneumonia in infants. Infants are still dying of whooping cough in Sweden, and the children who have died have been unvaccinated. Just because whooping cough is most dangerous for infants and the bacteria circulates in society, it is important to get protection from whooping cough as early as possible.
Protection against diphtheria is important if you are going abroad
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that displays as a severe throat infection that can cause shortness of breath and death. Croup was the popular name for airway diphtheria, another name for true croup. Diphtheria epidemics would soon recur if we stopped vaccinating against diphtheria. For a single person who stays in Sweden and is not vaccinated, the risk of infection is small - the flock immunity also protects the unvaccinated.
Children need protection from tetanus before they start playing outdoors
Tetanus bacteria are found in the soil and if they enter the blood through small cuts they can cause tetanus. There is no flock immunity here, so all people need their own vaccination protection against tetanus. The tetanus bacterium enters the body via wounds, and after a few days forms a nerve poison that spreads in the blood, creating stiffness in the muscles and cramps in the respiratory tract. There is an antidote but mortality is quite high even with modern intensive care.
If an unvaccinated person has a wound into which soil gets, you need to seek urgent care immediately to obtain antibodies to tetanus and the tetanus vaccine. The antibodies you give for tetanus come from blood donors who have previously been vaccinated against tetanus. The same applies to animal or human bites, since tetanus bacteria can be present in both animals and humans.
Hopefully, Polio will soon be eradicated
Polio virus is a stomach disease virus that can also attack the nerves and cause paralysis, formerly known as infantile paralysis. Polio is almost extinct all over the world and the risk of being infected even if one is unvaccinated is small. Many countries require polio vaccination for entry into many countries just because eradication of polio is a political priority. Once polio is eradicated, the WHO will likely recommend removing polio vaccination from the three-month vaccine.
The hepatitis B vaccine protects against liver cancer and cirrhosis
The latest addition to the three-month syringe is hepatitis B vaccine. Hepatitis B is a virus that spreads through blood transfusions, sex and shared syringes, and from mother to child. Hepatitis B infections affect the liver and are a major cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis of the world.
It may feel strange to vaccinate your newborn against a virus that infects through sex and dirty syringes. But think how satisfying it is to know that the child has a protection against hepatitis B if one day he finds a dirty syringe in the park and picks it up.
The Hib vaccine has decimated the epiglottite
The three-month vaccine also includes vaccines against Hib, or Hemophilus influenzae type B. Hib is a bacterium that caused severe epiglottitis, or strep throat inflammation and also meningitis, both of which were sometimes fatal.
The vaccine against Hib has basically eradicated epiglottitis and meningitis with Hib now affects very few children in Sweden. It is important to continue vaccinating because the bacterium is still in the community.
The second three-month syringe contains pneumococcal vaccine
The pneumococcal vaccine protects against pneumonia, ear inflammation, meningitis and blood poisoning caused by pneumococci. There is more to say about it, so there will be a new post about pneumococcal vaccine coming soon.
Side effects of three month vaccine
The most common side effects of the three-month vaccine are pain at the injection site and fever the same or the next day the child received the vaccine. These side effects are not dangerous and you can give alvedon if you want to relieve the pain.
Serious side effects of three-month vaccine are very rare. A scary but harmless and very rare side effect is the so-called hypotonic hyporesponsive episode (HHE). The children become lethargic and do not respond to rousing for a few hours. Of course, the parents go to the ER, but the episode is over. Children affected by HHE receive the next vaccine in hospital under supervision. In the vast majority of cases, there is no such reaction to the five-month vaccination.
Extremely premature infants who have been seriously ill during the newborn period have a certain risk of breathing difficulties following the three-month vaccine. These children have been given an extra dose, a two-month vaccination in hospital. If it went well, the risk that the three-month vaccine will cause side effects is very low. But if your child has respiratory side effects from the two-month vaccine - consult with your child's doctor if the child should not receive the three-month vaccine in hospital either.