Take the vaccine quiz

While parents ensure that younger children get their vaccinations, preteens and adolescents also need their booster shots to maintain their immunity, especially during the pandemic. Take this quiz to check your knowledge of vaccinations for children between ages nine to 14.

1. Since children under the age of 18 years are ineligible for the Covid vaccine, does this make adolescents a vulnerable group?

Yes. This makes 0-18 year-olds the new vulnerable group and makes it important to ensure they are protected against all other vaccine preventable diseases.

2. Do kids over 5 years of age need additional vaccines or booster shots?

Answer: Yes. Certain vaccines are recommended even as the child gets older, such as DTP Boosters, Chicken Pox, MMR boosters and others.

3. Is the DTP vaccine recommended for children above age 9 years and up?

Yes. DTP (or TDaP) is a combination booster vaccine recommended for children 9-14 years. It boosts immunity against three potentially life-threatening bacterial diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

4. Are there DTP booster shots?

Yes. The 1 st DTP booster dose is given at age 18 months, 2 nd DTP booster dose is for children aged 4-6 years. In India it is recommended that preteens get one shot between 9-14 years to boost their immunity. The DTP combination vaccine offers protection against infections caused by diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), pertussis (whooping cough).

5. Is pertussis contagious?

Answer: Yes. It spreads easily and a person with pertussis or whooping cough may infect up to 12 to 15 others. It’s caused by a type of bacteria that releases toxins and causes the airways to swell. Symptoms include intense coughing bouts, vomiting, urinary incontinence, interrupted sleep, and exhaustion. Children can miss up to 7 days of school as they recover from pertussis. That’s why it is important to be up to date with vaccines.

6. Can whooping cough (pertussis) affect older children?

Yes. Whooping cough results in coughing spells that last for nearly 100 days and even in adolescents can result in over 3 weeks of coughing and discomfort, loss of school days, urinary incontinence and more. The University of Rochester online encyclopaedia explains that it is also known as the 100-day cough because the symptoms can last weeks to months.

7. Are DTP Boosters needed beyond adolescence?

Yes – Associations of Physicians of India recommend one DTP booster shot post age 18 years of age.

8. Do vaccines offer 100 percent protection from diseases?

No. Vaccines provide a high level of immunogenic response but cannot be 100%. Generally, vaccine efficacy ranges between 75-95%. DTaP vaccines, in general, are 80 to 90 percent effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

9. If my child isn’t socialising or going to school do they still need to take their booster vaccine?

Yes, children are known to be reservoirs of infection and can spread to their younger siblings and older grandparents. Even if children do not currently go to school their immunity does tend to wane over time and hence keeping them up to date with their vaccinations is important to keep them protected from vaccine preventable diseases.
(Disclaimer: The vaccination schedule is determined by the Indian Association of Paediatrics and hence it is important to follow their guidelines to ensure timely and complete protection for these children. If vaccinations are not up to date, children could succumb to these infectious diseases and cause greater complications under the current pandemic.)