Speaking to a friend who recently delivered her baby, she narrated how the worst part of her motherhood journey thus far was vaccination. She related how her baby wailed endlessly and she struggled both at the doctor’s office and then later at home to comfort her baby. She explained how she felt totally helpless in the situation and that she wished that vaccinations could wait till babies were older to understand the reason for this infliction. Once we become parents, we would want to do anything to keep our little babies’ eyes from filling up with tears, right?

But the good news is that vaccination appointments don’t have to be a nightmare. You can now actually opt for something called less painful vaccines. When you now visit your paediatrician for vaccinations, you have a choice of the type of vaccine you would like to be administered to your baby. You can choose between the conventional vaccine or the less painful vaccine.

A less painful vaccine causes much milder after vaccination side-effects in the child. Do note that it doesn’t mean the needle prick will not alarm baby and he wont cry. Of course, he will. Both painless or conventional vaccines will do that. For that matter, even us adults flinch when the needle first tears through our skin, right.

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The major advantage of a less painful vaccine is that it causes milder side-effects. This will mean –

  • The dull pain after an injection will be lesser
  • There will be little or no swelling at the injection point
  • Lower risk of a high-grade fever occurring

This makes the aftermath of a vaccination less discomforting to babies and less heart-breaking for parents. These mild symptoms can be managed better and easily without need for further medical intervention. A simple paracetamol which your doctor can prescribe the right dosage for, will be sufficient to bring baby’s discomfort under control. Along with lots of cuddles of course. Not to forget the good old cold compress which really soothes the injection point.

A less painful vaccine sounds too good to be true. Does it in any way mean that the painless vaccination is also less effective in doing its job?

You don’t have to worry on this count. Research has shown that in terms of efficacy both vaccines do the job they are supposed to. Be rest assured that your child’s health is being taken care of as necessary.

Are all vaccines available in the painless variety?

Right now, the combination vaccine against the big 3 – diptheria, tetanus and pertussis (DPT) is offered as painless or conventional variety. The less painful vaccine is known as DaPT where aP stands for acellular pertussis. This type has lesser antigens compared to wP (wholecellular pertussis) and therefore causes less pain and reactions.

What would be the right choice to make?

As a parent myself, I always recommend that one needs to make any choice for our child, based on research (but don’t become a medical doctor from Google university), discussion with your doctor and with due consideration given to personal budgets and support systems available. The less painful vaccine does cost a bit more than the conventional vaccine. But surely the benefits outweigh any cost consideration when it comes to our baby’s health and happiness.

What’s #YourCareQuotient? How much do you understand your child when it comes to sleep patterns, feeding and vaccination? Take the easy, interactive quiz that guides you and get the childcare guide now.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm