Vaccines, Vaccination and Immunization Schedule for Nurses

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Vaccines is a biological product that produces acquired immunity in an individual. If review any staff nurse exam question paper, you can see at least one question from vaccines and vaccination schedule. Therefore its important to learn about vaccine, types, administration, National Immunization schedule etc while preparing for registered nurse exams. This article will help you in this regard.

Types of Vaccines, Vaccination and National Immunization Schedule


Production of vaccines comes under a branch of life science called immunology. Edward Jenner is the father of immunology.


The term vaccine is coined from “Variolae Vaccinae” meaning “small pox of cow” and the term was devised by Edward Jenner to denote cowpox.


The content of vaccine can be called as an agent which stimulates the body’s immune system to recognize it as a threat, then destroys it and keep a rocord of the attack so that the immune system can more easily recognize and destroy any later attack of the same disease.

Types of vaccines

Vaccines are broadly classified on the basis of content they are carrying. Sometimes it may be dead or inactive organisms or may be purified products derived from them.

1. Inactivated Vaccines – Contains inactive, but previously virulent micro organisms.

Eg. Influenz, cholera, polio, hepatitis A and Rabies

2. Attenuated – Contains live, attenuated micro organisms. These organisms closely resemble the original virulent microbes but are less dangerous.

Eg. Yellow fever, measles, rubella, mumps

3. Toxoid – Contains inactivated toxic compounds that cause illness without micro organisms.

Eg. Tetanus and Diphtheria.

4. Subunit – Contains protein subunit which can create an immune response.

Eg. Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines

5. Conjugate – Contains polysaccharide outer coats of microorganisms (bacteria) which works like protein antigen creating an immune response.

Eg. Haemophilus Influnzae Type B vaccine

Is there any standard immunization schedule in India?

In India we have a standard immunization schedule which is called National Immunization Schedule (NIS)

National Immunization Schedule – NIS

BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin)- Lyophilized vaccine Tuberculosis Intradermal One At birth (Upto one year if not given earlier)
Oral Polio Vaccine – OPV – Liquid Vaccine Poliomyelitis Oral Five Birth dose for institutional deliveries, Primary three doses at 6, 10 & 14 week and one booster dose at 16-24 month of age. Given orally
Hepatitis B – Liquid Vaccine Hepatitis B Intramuscular Four Birth dose (within 24 hours)
for institutional deliveries, Primary three doses at 6, 10 & 14 week”
DPT (Diphtheria, Pertusis and Tetanus Toxoid) – Liquid Vaccine Diphtheria, Pertusis and Tetanus Intramuscular Five Three doses at 6, 10 & 14 week and two booster dose at 16-24 month and 5-6 years of age
Measles – Lyophilized vaccine” Measles Subcutaneous Two 9-12 months of age and 2nd dose at 16-24 months.
TT (Tetanus Toxoid) – Liquid vaccine Tetanus Intramuscular Two 10 years and 16 years of age. For Pregnant woman, two
JE vaccination (in selected high disease burden districts) Lyophilized vaccine” Japaneese Encephalitis Subcutaneous Two 9-12 months of age and 2nd dose at 16-24 months (6 month after vaccination drive)
Hib (given as pentavalent containing Hib+DPT+Hep B) (in 8 states) Hib Pneumonia and Hib Meningitis Intramuscular Three 6, 10, 14 weeks of age

In addition,

JE vaccination is provided in 113 districts and additional 62 new JE endemic districts have been identified.

JE second dose has been introduced under UIP in these endemic districts from April,13

Pentavalent vaccine introduced in 8 states i.e. Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Haryana, J&K, Gujarat, Karnataka, Goa and Puducherry.

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Every nurse should know about vaccines, their different types, administration route and about National Immunization Schedule. This will be benefiting not only for exam point of view but also for caring your children too.

Note – If you have missed any of the vaccination for your child, you can start the vaccination as per schedule –  Click here for more details

Hopes this is useful for somebody who is immensely preparing for staff nurse exams.

Please do share the knowledge if you think its worth of sharing.


National Health Programs – Click Here

Indian Association of Pediatrics – Click Here

Vaccines – Wikipedia – Click Here

DisclaimerClick Here

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