Painful vs Painless vaccination. Which one is more effective and why?

Painful vs Painless vaccination. Which one is more effective and why?

All parents are concerned about their children’s health and happiness. Vaccination plays a vital role in the general well-being of any human being by providing them immunity from many diseases. This is especially true in the case of young children as their immunity is weaker than that of an adult’s. Most of the major vaccines are administered via injections in the first 24 months of a child’s life.

DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis or whooping cough) is one of the most important vaccines which a child is given and is the only one until now which is also available in the painless form in India. DTP vaccine is administered to children in 5 doses before the age of 7 years – at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, between 15-18 months and between 4-6 years of age. The first three doses are considered to be the primary doses of DTP vaccine and the last two doses are considered to be the booster doses.

Also Read: 5 things you should know about painless vaccination

Painful DTP or DTwP

The Painful DTP vaccine refers to the DTwP subtype of the DTP vaccine. This vaccine is a combination of Diphtheria, Pertussis (cellular component), Tetanus, Haemophilus Influenza type B and Hepatitis B. When a Painful DTP vaccine is administered in a child, the spot of injection is likely to get swollen and also run a fever. In rare cases, the child may get convulsions if the fever is too high. Ways to manage the side-effects of the vaccine include applying a cold compress on the swelling and a dose of paracetamol to manage the fever.

Painless DTP or DTaP

Painless DTP vaccine refers to the DTaP subtype of the DTP vaccine. It is a combination of Diphtheria, Tetanus, Acellular-Pertussis, Haemophilus influenza type B and injectable polio. In the painless type of vaccine, the Pertussis component is diluted which results in less pain after administration. The child is less likely to get swelling at the spot of injection and may get a low grade-fever after the administration of the painless vaccine.

Also Read: Can my child get his missed vaccination at later date?

Important points to remember while choosing either vaccine.

  1. The Indian Academy of Paediatrics advises avoiding DTaP as the primary series of vaccination, though it can be considered for the booster doses. Your paediatrician should be able to better guide you in this regard.
  2. Both forms of DTP vaccine – painful or painless are equally effective in boosting your child’s immunity against Diphtheria, Tetanus or Whooping cough. Either vaccine does not provide a better immunity than the other.
  3. Whether you choose a painless or painful vaccine, both are not completely pain-free. The child will experience pain at the time of administering the vaccine which is done via an injection.
  4. In case you have already administered a few doses of the painful vaccine to your child and would like to administer painless ones in the future, you could do so without any concerns or side effects.
  5. The side effects of either vaccine are easily manageable if you follow the advice given by your doctor. The doctor may advise you to use an ice pack on the swelling at the spot where the injection was administered and paracetamol for any fever. Remember to consult your doctor for the correct dosage of paracetamol and steps you should take in case the child gets a high-grade fever.

Also Read: Can my child get his missed vaccination at later date?

Painful or Painless – Which one?

Any good paediatrician will ideally brief you about both the options along with the pros and cons of each vaccine. The doctor should not try to push one form of vaccine over the other as the one you choose should be a completely personal preference. The doctor should also make you aware of the cost of both vaccines as the painless vaccine is almost two-times as expensive as the painful one.

The form of DTP vaccine you choose is your personal prerogative. The important thing is to not miss a single dose of vaccine and to follow the vaccination schedule given by your doctor.

Want to share your mommy experience with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you