My blog aims to address the many dilemmas parents, especially us mothers, go through at various stages while raising our child. This post is about one of the very first choices I had to make regarding my son’s preventive healthcare.
When our paediatrician told that my son’s next vaccination would be DPT and we could opt either for a painless dose or a normal one, I was confused. Being a person who likes to be aware of the repercussions of my actions, I took it upon myself to read up on as much information I could find; difference between the two types, ways of administration, required follow-up, side- effects, pain, fever and even the cell structure of the antigens. I even consulted many moms with children of roughly the same age.
The information that I gathered is summarised below as a quick reference guide:
1 . Painless dose is not literally painless. There will be pain of the prick, yes but mostly no fever, redness, and swelling. On the other hand, after the conventional dose, the child is more likely to develop all of the above side effects and require anti paramedic drugs, ice pack on swelling, pain during leg movement and probably a sleepless or, at the very least, an extremely disturbed night.
2. The child may be slightly sluggish for a day after the painless dose but would be spared most of the above stated side effects of the normal dose.
3. The outer shell of pertussis antigen is removed in order to make the dose painless that is why the name DaP( anticellular Pertussis)T, reducing its efficacy slightly compared to normal ones; as indicated by a majority of Indian research literature.
4. The painless dose costs more than the conventional with a difference of almost 1500-2000 INR.
I went for the conventional doses of DPT for all his schedules as I perceived it to have better immunity benefits. I would also like to tell you that the two days post all his DwPT schedules were the most difficult, both for him and me. He always had high grade fever, pain, redness and all the conventional dose’s side effects and wouldn’t settle until lifted on the shoulder and carried around. We are past that now, with him smoothly beyond his second birthday.
I would like to suggest all the mothers out there, who are faced with a similar dilemma, to trust your gut instincts and, more importantly, your child’s primary paediatrician.
Have faith, don’t second-guess, don’t feel judged for the choice that you make.
Just give your child extra love, hugs and cuddles and all will be well in roughly 36 hours.
Happy parenting and decision making.
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