6-in1 vaccination for babies: What makes it worth considering for every parent
Timely vaccination is important, especially in the early years of a child’s life. Immunizing children protects them from a host of serious diseases that their immune systems may otherwise won’t fight off.
How Does Vaccination Work?
An attenuated or weaker form of virus or bacteria that causes the disease/illness is administered via vaccination. Our bodies are designed to produce antibodies to counter any foreign antigen. If in future, any of these viruses or bacteria enter the body, these antibodies would attack them, protecting the person against the diseases.
Babies with their developing immune systems are given multiple vaccinations over the course of the first couple of years. But the sight of your child’s bitter crying when administered a shot is really disturbing for some parents. Wish we could save the babies from the necessary pain. Thanks to the advancements in vaccinology, we now have combined vaccination like the 6-in-1 vaccination which helps to protect children, without the discomfort of getting multiple shots.
What is the 6-in-1 Vaccination?
Just as the name suggests, 6-in-1 vaccination is a single vaccination dose that protects a newborn against six serious diseases, including diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), hepatitis B, Hib disease (Haemophilus influenzae type b), polio, and tetanus. Combination vaccination could mean fewer visits to the doctor, fewer injections and lesser pain for your baby and definitely more convenience!
Understanding the 6 Diseases and its Prevention
The combination vaccination safeguards young babies against six contagious diseases. These are:
Poor sanitary conditions such as contaminated water and food are the causes of Polio. It majorly affects children under five years of age. No or poor treatment can lead to permanent disabilities, like paralysis and even death. Polio can be prevented by maintaining good sanitation, proper hygiene, and vaccination.
Also known as whooping cough, pertussis is a respiratory disease transmitted through infectious droplets. Since it is highly communicable, children should be kept away from anyone who has this infection. Pertussis can be prevented by isolating from the infected person and vaccination.
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that primarily affects the nose and throat in infants. It can cause severe problems like difficulty in breathing, lung infection, paralysis, etc. Diphtheria can be prevented by isolation from the infected person and vaccination.
Hib disease (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
Hib is a bacterial disease that causes pneumonia, meningitis, and other severe diseases in children <5 years of age. Hepatitis B can be prevented by maintaining good sanitation, proper hygiene, and vaccination.
Hepatitis B is a viral disease known to cause liver damage. It can be both chronic and acute. A pregnant mother with this infection can also pass on the infection to her baby during birth. Hepatitis B can be prevented by avoiding blood & bodily fluid contact with infected person, good sanitation, and
Tetanus is a bacterial disease that causes muscle stiffness in the neck, jaw, and other parts of the body. It often enters the host through cuts and wounds, but proper wound care and vaccination can prevent tetanus. Tetanus can be prevented by wound care & maintenance and vaccination.
Recommended Age for the 6-in-1 Vaccination
Aligned to the schedule recommended by the Indian Academy of pediatrics (IAP), the DTP-IPV-Hib-HepB should be given to babies at the age of 6, 10 and 14 weeks. 6-in-1 vaccination provides protection for these 6 diseases.
If your baby has missed the routine vaccination, that’s not a problem. It’s never too late to check with your child’s paediatrician about catching up.
For additional information, please consult your Paediatrician.
Benefits of the 6-in-1 Vaccination
The 6-in-1 vaccination offers a range of benefits to both babies and parents.
Benefits for Babies:
- On-time protection
- Less injection pricks
- Less pain of multiple injections and discomfort
Benefits for Parents:
- More convenience
- Fewer visits to the Pediatrician
- Less time off from work or family activity
Won’t Combining Multiple Antigens Cause More Side Effects?
Side effects from the 6-in-1 vaccination are similar to those of individual vaccination. The swelling or pain at the injection site may be slightly more with the combination vaccination, though it would still be less than the pain of administering multiple injections. Other side effects, common to most vaccinations, include fever, irritability, and loss of appetite.
In times when health is of utmost importance, 6-in-1 vaccination offers convenience to newborns as well as to their parents. If your newborn is due for his/her vaccination, make sure you consult your paediatrician to know more.
Commenting about the benefits of combination vaccination, Dr Manish Gour, consulting paediatrician and Director Pranaam Hospitals Pvt Ltd Hyderabad, said, “Combination vaccinations are beneficial in many ways. First and foremost, the child gets fewer pricks, which reduces the amount of pain that he/she would otherwise have to endure. When a child has to take multiple injections, the parents sometimes want to spare their child the pain and so they do not take all the vaccinations at the same. But that increases the likelihood of the parent forgetting to return for the vaccinations that are left or missing the age slot during which the vaccinations can be given. Combinations vaccinations reduce the number of visits to the doctor and improve the compliance.”
Disclaimer: Issued in public interest by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India.
Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only. Nothing contained in this material constitutes medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical queries, any question or concern you may have regarding your condition. The disease list indicated for vaccination is not complete, please consult your child’s Paediatrician for the complete vaccination schedule.
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