In this Article
If you are a parent, the mere thought of getting your baby vaccinated and hearing his cries might make you look for harmless alternatives. And there are! You can consider painless vaccination for your baby. Painless vaccinations are acellular vaccines that contain fewer antigens and are administered by a syringe. As these vaccinations don’t make a child uncomfortable, they have become a popular choice among parents. But before you take your child on a painless route, you must understand what these vaccines are all about and whether they are effective or not.
What Is Painless Vaccination?
Painless vaccination for babies is a recent invention in the field of immunology. A painless vaccine is given as a combination vaccine which goes by the name DaPT (Diphtheria, acellular Pertussis and Tetanus.) This vaccine causes less or no pain and swelling where it is injected. However, the DaPT vaccine (though painless) is less immunogenic in nature as compared to the DPT (painful) vaccine.
Are Painless Vaccines Really Effective?
A painless vaccine may fail to prevent the spread of Pertussis as it does not prevent the disease from entering and living inside a vaccinated child’s airways. Although the vaccinated child may become immune, the disease can still be passed along through him to other children who have not been vaccinated or who have weak immunity.
Are Painless Vaccines Safe?
Painless vaccines prevent babies from experiencing post-vaccination side effects like fever and painful swelling. But they do not provide enough immunity to a baby. Children who are immunised through painless vaccination may still serve as transmitters of Pertussis, which makes this vaccination unsafe.
Advantages of Painless Vaccination
Here are some advantages that have been linked to painless vaccinations:
- Pain experienced by a child is minimal.
- There is little to no swelling at the injection site.
- Unlike other vaccines, there is very less chance of fever after the shot.
Side Effects of Painless Vaccine in Babies
Some side effects of painless vaccines in babies include:
- Painless vaccines contain immunity-stimulating components in lesser amounts while they are formulated, which makes them less effective.
- As painful vaccines are less effective and the dosage of one-shot is less, children need to be given more shots, which might lead to unwanted side effects.
- The effects of painless vaccinations may not last long in the body.
- The price of the painless vaccines is double the cost of painful vaccines.
Painless vaccinations are not actually pain-free. They cause the same amount of pain when administered, but post-vaccination there is lesser pain and fewer side effects.
Painless vs. Painful Vaccine
- DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus) is a painful form of the painless vaccination. It is also known as Easy-five or Pentavac.
- DaPT (Diphtheria, acellular Pertussis and Tetanus) is the painless version of the vaccination and is also known as Pentaxim.
- Pentadic (painful) protects against Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Haemophilus Influenzae Type B and Hepatitis B, while Pentaxim (painless) covers the same except for Hepatitis B.
- The painful vaccination causes swelling in the injected area and is often accompanied by fever whereas the painless vaccination does not have such severe after-effects.
- The painful vaccination stays in the body for a longer period of time compared to the painless version.
Painless or Painful Vaccine – Which Is Better?
The advantages that painful vaccines have over painless ones are far greater. It is better to let your child experience the after-effects of the painful vaccine and have better immunity than give him painless vaccination which are not really effective. Paediatricians advise parents to opt for a painful whole-cell vaccine to guarantee better immunity against Pertussis.
Immunization Schedule Based On the Choice of Vaccines
According to the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, one should give the painful vaccine as follows:
Primary Immunization: This should be given to babies at the ages of six weeks, ten weeks, and fourteen weeks.
Booster Shots: Booster shots should be given to a child when he turns one and a half years of age and at five years of age.
According to the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, one should give the painless vaccine as follows:
Primary Immunization: The IAP recommends that the painless vaccine be given only in special circumstances for the primary vaccinations. Some of the special circumstances include allergic reactions to the previous dose of the painful vaccine or when the child suffers from neurological problems.
Booster Shots: These can be given at the ages of one and a half years and five years.
As a parent, you might want to spare your child from the after-effects of the painful vaccination, but its benefits over the painless vaccine are much greater. It is all right to give your child the painless vaccine for the booster shots, but for their immunity, painful vaccines should be given.
Also Read: Tips To Sooth Vaccination Pain In Infants