These vaccines take two or more vaccines that could be given individually and put into one shot. So the child will get two or three shots to protect him from five diseases, instead of five individual shots.
Besides DPT, OPV, and MMR, DPT+HepB, DPT+Hib, DPT+HepB+Hib, and HepA+HepB are available in India.
Pentavalent vaccine provides protection to a child from 5 life-threatening diseases –Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, and Hib. DPT (Diphtheria+Pertussis+Tetanus) and Hep B are already part of routine immunization in India; the Hib vaccine is a new addition. Together, the combination is called Pentavalent. Hib vaccine can prevent serious diseases caused by Haemophilus influenza type b like pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia, epiglottitis, septic arthritis, etc. Giving pentavalent vaccine reduces the number of pricks to a child, and provides protection from all five diseases.
The Government of India has decided to introduce the pentavalent vaccine in the national immunization program in selected states.
The pentavalent vaccine will replace the current Hepatitis B and DPT primary vaccination schedule in the immunisation program.
The pentavalent vaccine comes in a liquid form in a vial which contains 10 doses. Each dose is 0.5 ml to be given by intramuscular injection in the anterolateral aspect of the mid-thigh using AD syringes.
Pentavalent vaccine have not been associated with any serious side effects. However, redness, swelling, and pain may occur at the limb site where the injection was given. These symptoms usually appear the day after the injection has been given and last from one to three days. Less commonly, children may develop a fever for a short time after immunisation.
containing diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, poliomyelitis, and hepatitis B virus antigens have the potential to be used for the primary series in India (6,10,14 weeks of age), and the toddler booster dose.
Three hexavalent vaccines are available in India: DTwP-Hib/HepB-IPV (wP-Hexa), DTaP-IPV-HB-PRP~T(2aP-Hexa), and DTaP-HBV-IPV/Hib (3aP-Hexa).
Benefits of Combination Vaccines
Combining vaccines into fewer shots may mean that more children will get recommended vaccinations on time. And that means fewer delays in disease protection.
Benefits for Children
- Fewer shots.
- Less pain and discomfort.
- On-time protection.
Benefits for Parents
- Fewer visits to the doctor.
- Less hassle and cost with fewer visits.
- Less time off from work or family activity.