Immunisation (vaccination) is a means of triggering acquired immunity. This is a specialized form of immunity that provides long-lasting protection against specific antigens, such as certain diseases like Polio, Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis (whooping cough), Tetanus and Measles. These diseases are vaccine preventable.

Small doses of an antigen (such as dead or weakened live viruses) are given to activate immune system "memory" (specialized white blood cells that are capable of "recognizing" the antigen and quickly responding to its presence). Memory allows the body to react quickly and efficiently to future exposure to microorganisms before they can cause dangerous diseases (the body builds "resistance" to the disorder). Immunisation is one of the best means to protect against many of the contagious diseases (those that can be passed from person to person). The immune response protects the body against disease. Infants are born with a natural (inborn) immunity against disease (the result of antibodies transmitted from the mother to the unborn child and to infants through breast milk). However, this immunity is temporary, lasting only through early infancy. Hence the need for child immunisation programmes.

Immunisation Schedule The recommended schedule of immunisations may vary slightly as new and more effective vaccines are developed. Consult your primary health care provider about the specific immunisations needed. A recommended immunisation schedule for children includes:

Age Vaccine
Pregnant Women TT 2 doses
Birth BCG (injection) and 0'dose polio
6 weeks 1st dose DPT (injection) 1st dose oral polio vaccine (drops) 1st dose hepatitis B vaccine (injection)
10 weeks 2nd dose DPT (injection) 2nd dose oral polio vaccine (drops) 2nd dose hepatitis B vaccine (injection)
14 weeks 3rd dose DPT (injection) 3rd dose oral polio vaccine (drops) 3rd dose hepatitis B vaccine (injection)
9 months Measles vaccine (injection)
8 -24 months 1 Booster dose of DPT & OPV
5 Years DT (injection)
10 Years TT (injection)
16 Years TT (injection)

The Vaccine Preventable Diseases are:

Tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium (mycobacterium tuberculosis). It usually attacks the lungs, but other parts of the body, including the intestine, bones, joints and brain. People of all ages can contract tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is spread through the air. When a person with the disease coughs or sneezes the germs enter the air and any one inhaling the same will get infected. TB can spread rapidly where people are living in crowded conditions, have difficulty in obtaining medical care, and are poorly nourished. The symptoms of Tb include general weakness, cough, chest pain, coughing up of blood, weight loss, fever and night sweats, joint swelling and pain and fits. Immunisation with BCG vaccine protects children from childhood tuberculosis.
Diphtheria Diphtheria is caused by bacteria. It spreads from person to person by way of coughing and sneezing. The incubation period for diphtheria is 2 to 5 days. The disease predominantly affect the throat. Symptoms range from a moderately sore throat to toxic symptoms. Death sometimes occurs by suffocation. The complications of diphtheria are damaged to heart muscles and the nervous system .Death occurs in about ten percent of those affected. Unless immunised, children and adults may be infected repeatedly with the disease. The most effective method of prevention is immunisation with DPT vaccine at 6,10,14 weeks of life, followed by booster doses at 2 and 5 years.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease involving the respiratory tract. It is spread easily through the air, usually from coughing or sneezing of infected persons. The illness lasts 6 to 12 weeks, starting with symptoms similar to the common cold and progressing to spasms to coughing after 10 to 12 days. Worldwide, 20 to 40 million cases of pertussis occur annually,90 percent of which occur in developing countries. Although pertussis may occur at any age ,most serious cases (including brain damage) and the majority of deaths occur in early infancy-a time when pertussis is most severe. Vaccines are not the most rational approaches to pertussis control. If children are not immunised, they have an 80percent chance of contracting whooping cough before the age of 5 years. Pertussis is prevented by immunisation with the DPT vaccine administered at 6,10,14 weeks of age.
Tetanus Bacteria that enter the body through open wounds cause tetanus (also called lockaw). The bacteria are found in soil, stool and manure. It causes an increased tightening of muscles, resulting in spasms, stiffness and arching of the spine. Ultimately, breathing becomes more difficulty spasms occur more frequently, and 70 to 100 percent of infected persons die. Neonatal tetanus (NT)-which affects newborn babies-generally occurs during the first few days of life ,when a delivery is conducted in unsanitary conditions. Neonatal tetanus is the second leading cause of death from vaccine preventable diseases among children worldwide. Maternal tetanus affecting the mother-also occurs as a result of poor hygienic practice at the time of delivery, or through gynecological complications. Immunising women of child-bearing age women who are pregnant is an effective method for preventing both neonatal and maternal tetanus. Tetanus is prevented by immunisation with the DPT vaccine at 6,10 and 14 weeks and Tetanus Toxoid vaccine at 5,10 and 16 years of age.
Measles Measles is a highly contagious illness, caused by measles bacteria characterised by a fever, cough and a spreading rash. Droplets of an infected personspread this disease. The disease usually starts with a fever 10 days after exposure. A characterised red rash appears on the third to seventh day, beginning on the face and spreading to the limbs within seven total days. In India, 75 percent of cases develop complications. Death occurs in 3-5%, and these are higher in undernourished children. The major causes of death due to measles come from complications such as pneumonia, diarrhea, meningitis and croup. Measles can also lead to life-long disabilities, including blindness, brain damage and deafness. There is no specific treatment for measles, but death rates can be reduced by quickly responding to a measles incident to avoid complications and boost immunity with Vitamin A supplements. Measles is prevented by immunisation with the measles vaccine, administered between 9-12 months.

Sukanya (for girls) Sector 4 & 5 ,Salt Lake, Kolkata.13
RAMKRISHNA VIVEKANANDA MISSION 7, Riverside Road, Barrackpore, 24 Prgs. (North), Pin-743001 2592-0547, Fax:2560-6904
Kishalaya (for boys) P. O. Barasat, Dist. North 24 Parganas.
MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY 78,A.J.C.Bose Road, Kolkata-700014 2216-0638, Fax:2216-4583
SOCIETY FOR INDIAN CHILDREN'S WELFARE 22,Colonel Biswas Road, Beckbagan, Kolkata-700019 2280-7176,2240-7110,2247-3121
INDIAN SOCIETIES FOR SPONSORSHIP & ADOPTION 1,Palace Court, 1 Kyd Street, Kolkata-700016 22299136,2217-0341, Fax:2479-5431
INDIAN SOCIETY FOR REHABILITATION OF CHILDREN Matri Sneha Unit, 98,Lake View Road, Calcutta-700029 2440-4245
INDIAN SOCIETY FOR REHABILITATION OF CHILDREN 9-B,Lake View Road,Lansdowne,Kolkata-700029 2466-7957,2463-7563
WEST BENGAL CO-ORDINATING AGENCY ON ADOPTION 42, Ramesh Mitra Road, Kolkata 25 2475-6180, Fax: 2474-2395
VIVEKANANDA WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY 18-C, Kalimuddin Lane, Kolkata - 700 006 2350-0692
SCOTTLANE POVERTY ERADICATION CENTRE 27, Gokul Boral Street, Kolkata - 700 012 22363056, 2234-8717

Udayan Barrackpore
Ramkrishna Vivekananda Mission Riverside Road, Barrackpore, 24 Prgs. (North), Pin-743001, 2592-0547, Fax:2560-6904
Sarada Kanya Vidyapith BARRACKPORE SaradaKanya Vidyapith was set up in association with the Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission at Barrackpore, and has about 1,000 girls on its rolls. It maintains a free hostel, which houses approximately 160 poor and destitute students of the school
Dhrubashram (for boys) Ariadah, North 24-Paraganas