Had another hectic weekend… One of the important things I did this weekend was to get my baby vaccinated that was due for 14 weeks of age.
This is his 3rd dose for DTaP, HiB & Polio (more on these below).
The baby was given PENTAXIM vaccine for the previous doses at 6 weeks & 10 weeks of age. This time the paed informed us that the particular vaccine has been banned by the Indian Government!
Let’s see about this vaccine in detail, why is it banned all of a sudden & what is the replacement for this.
WHAT IS PENTAXIM
Pentaxim as the name goes is a combination vaccine against 5 different types of infections –
4. POLIOMYELITIS (or simply Polio)
5. HiB – Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (capable of causing – Meningitis (Brain Fever), Septicaemia (Bacteria in the bloodstream), Cellulitis (Skin infection), Arthritis, Epiglottitis, Pneumopathy (Any lung disease) & Osteomyelitis (Infection of the bone)).
The limelight of Pentaxim is its ability to deliver feverless, painless acellular doses against Pertussis infection. It of course comes at a price!
Sounds to be a boon of vaccine ain’t it! It was initially launched in 1997.
WHEN TO ADMINISTER?
Vaccinations for all the 5 diseases mentioned above need to be administered to the baby in the following stages –
1st dose – 6 weeks of age
2nd dose – 10 weeks of age
3rd dose – 14 weeks of age
1st booster – 18 months
2nd booster – 5 years
WHY THE BAN?
There have been numerous studies over the years, that the dosage of vaccine in Pentaxim against Pertussis is low, that it is not able to protect humans from infection in the long run.
A recent study by WHO also states that pertussis (respiratory disease, which spreads through contact) is on the rise again & is prevalent among 5+ years old children in the United States & Europe, where this vaccine has been adopted as part of the national immunization schedule.
This vaccine has already been banned in developed countries, on WHO’s recommendation.
Pentaxim is easily available across the world and is part of India’s national immunization schedule as well, due to its capability of acting against 5 diseases in one go!
Initially, I did read reports in the paper, that there is a shortage of Pentaxim vaccines in the country early in January 2014. But now it has come out to light that the government has officially banned the vaccine, though very late when compared to US & Europe.
REPLACEMENT FOR PENTAXIM?
Yes… There is easy replacement available.
QUADRAVAC vaccine is administered to fight against the four diseases listed above except polio. You have to administer POLIOVAC (Inactivated Polio Vaccine, in the form of injection) for vaccination against polio separately.
So, it makes it 2 injections instead of 1 Pentaxim injection!
The catch here is QUADRAVAC does not deliver painless, acellular Pertussis component! 😦
It is quite painful even while injecting to the baby, plus there are high chances of swelling around the area of injection for upto 10 hrs. post vaccination.
The baby will get fever & feel pain in the area of injection along with swelling.. which is not good news for any mom…
But seeing the brighter side of life… infection prevention weighs higher than pain prevention.
I am glad that my baby’s paed explained all this to me clearly (amidst the big queue of people waiting for their baby’s vaccination), so that I can feel comforted about the pain & swelling that is inevitable after the vaccination process.
So, if your baby is due for its vaccine, do opt for a different combo of vaccine other than PENTAXIM, to avoid chances of infection in later stages of life! 🙂
My baby cried like hell when the injection was administered. Heavy tears rolled down his eyes. Something new for us from our earlier vaccination experiences!
So, the alternative injection does deliver medicine with huge pain! Be prepared…
As the doc mentioned, his thighs (where vaccine was administered) swell a little after about 2 hrs. and the baby couldn’t handle the pain at all.. wasn’t able to kick or move his legs freely like before.. and kept crying all day.
I had to give him 2 shots of paracetamol drops to bring down the fever & pain, and the baby was back bouncing after about 10-12 hrs. of vaccination! 😀
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