Vaccination is a topic which confuses most of the parents, especially the first time ones. And to a large extent this results from various schedules being followed in our country. More precisely, the schedules are same but recommendations are not uniformly followed across public and private sectors. Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) issues recommendations for vaccinations on a regular basis, where in they also specify that certain vaccines are meant for only high risk children or if parents plan. Many practitioners refer to these vaccines as optional vaccines. On the other hand, our Public sector hospitals are not administering all the vaccines which are under recommended list by IAP and they have an abridged version of vaccine schedule which is referred to as Universal Immunisation Programme(UIP). Confusion amongst the parents in private sector is increased when few practitioners mention all vaccines other than UIP as optional, which is not the case.
Ideally, all children should receive all vaccines mentioned under "Recommended for all" by IAP. Besides that parents should be informed about other vaccines which are mentioned by IAP under "For High Risk" and if any parent plans to have them, they should be administered. If any child actually falls under this "High Risk" group, then this particular child should recieve these additional shots too.
Here one should note, that Rabies Pre exposure Vcaccination(3 doses) is mentioned for "High Risk " children only but in our set up, every child walking on road is a high risk for a dog bite and all parents must consider taking these shots for this age group, ie age 2yrs plus or at any age if there are pets in home.