What are the mandatory vaccines for babies ?
Measles, diphtheria, mumps, rubella… we are normally all vaccinated against these diseases – check your health record ! Vaccinating babies Vaccination is indeed the way to protect, from the youngest age, the whole population against highly transmissible, serious and potentially fatal diseases: it is indeed thanks to vaccination that infant mortality has drastically decreased. A certain number of vaccines are mandatory in France, especially for babies, in order to avoid the dramatic consequences of the spread of these diseases. Let's see which vaccinations are mandatory for our young children !
Why should your child be vaccinated? ?
The Covid-19 epidemic has highlighted the fact that in France, mandatory vaccination is not always well understood, well seen or well accepted. Vaccines arouse mistrust, even rejection, even though they have been a real medical and public health revolution. Indeed, vaccines have helped to reduce infant mortality (the number of deaths of infants or children per year due to disease), but also adult mortality – because some diseases, contracted in adulthood, can have disastrous consequences.
The mandatory vaccines allow to protect children from serious diseases, which killed a lot when their vaccine did not exist yet – we often date the beginning of the vaccine revolution to Pasteur who found in 1885 the one against rabies. The principle of a preventive vaccine is simple: one injects harmless strains of the virus or the bacteria (an antigen) that one wants to counter. The organism will detect this foreign substance thanks to its immune system (which is there to defend, to protect our organism) and this triggers the production of antibodies, but also a memory effect. Thus, if we are infected in the future by the virus, our body will quickly eradicate it and avoid us a contamination and its consequences.
To learn more, we recommend this file from INSERM.
Let's take the case of measles, for which vaccination is compulsory: this disease was the first cause of child mortality in Europe before the vaccine was found. Since the vaccine is mandatory, with an injection at 1 year and a second injection at 1 and a half years, cases of measles have decreased enormously and the goal is to eliminate the disease. In fact, if all children are vaccinated, the disease virus will have "no one left" to infect and will eventually disappear. Vaccinating one's children is therefore compulsory, beneficial for their health, but also for the health of others (if one is vaccinated, one will not participate in the dissemination of the disease).
Finally, you should know that contrary to what we sometimes hear, the risks related to vaccination are extremely rare and low, that vaccines (like any medication) are evaluated, controlled and tested before being injected. We must therefore vaccinating your child because it protects him, because it protects others, and also because it is mandatory.
What vaccines are required for babies?
Currently, and since January 1, 2018, French babies must be vaccinated against 11 diseases between their 0 and 2 years. For your convenience, we present below a table listing the diseases protected by mandatory vaccines, and the times when you should vaccinate your child (don't worry, doctors will tell you too). These injections will be noted on your baby's health record, which should be kept carefully since these vaccinations are necessary for entry into the nursery and school. You should know that several injections are necessary to be protected against a disease, but that doctors have coupled vaccines together to limit the number of injections.
Thus, the same color on our chart represents only one injection (for example: at 2 months, one injection will protect against 6 diseases – diphtheria, tetanus, polio, pertussis, haemophilus influenzae type B meningitis and hepatitis B – and one injection will protect against pneumococcus).