Combination vaccines at 6,10,14 weeks vaccination
Vaccination is the process that should start at birth itself. It enables children to fight major illnesses. It has decreased the mortality and morbidity in children to a large extent. After given BCG Vaccine, oral polio vaccine and Hepatitis B vaccine at birth next doses are given at 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age.
At 6, 10 and 14 weeks vaccines against major diseases are given. This constitutes an important part of the primary vaccination series. Let’s discuss vaccinations at 6, 10 and 14 weeks age.
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What vaccination is done at 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks age?
At this age of 6, 10 and 14 weeks the vaccines protecting against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, HiB, Hepatitis B, IPV, rotavirus and pneumococcal disease are given. As we can see, vaccines at this age protect infants against 9 deadly diseases. Apart from rotavirus vaccine which is given orally all others are given by injections.
Why do we use (benefits) combination vaccines at 6, 10 and 14 weeks?
- We can see in the above charts that necessary vaccines given at this age are many.
- Giving these vaccines individually will result in 7 injections and one rotavirus orally.
- So, It is beneficial to use combination vaccines.
- Use of combination vaccines results in reduced number of prick to the baby and at the same time maintaining the efficacy of the vaccine.
- The process of vaccines becomes less cumbersome and less painful to both baby and parents.
- With combination vaccines, the number of visits to OPD or hospital is reduced, so compliance of parents for vaccination increases.
- It becomes easy to manage the vaccine stock in terms of production and storage.
- The infant is protected against so many deadly diseases in a short span of time.
- With time saved the consultant can discuss more about the infant’s health and more time given more effective guidance for child health can be given to parents.
- With a reduced number of pricks the anxiety in parents’ minds is reduced too.
What combination vaccines can be used at this age?
- Pentavac + IPV + PCV + rotavirus oral: In this plan we can use the Pentavac vaccine which contains DPT+HiB+Hepatitis B combination and injections of IPV and PCV are given separately. Rotavirus vaccine is given orally. So this plan reduces the number of injections to 3 and an oral dose of rotavirus each time. Pentavac being killed by the whole cell pertussis containing the vaccine is relatively painful.
- EasySix + PCV + Rotavirus oral: In this plan we can use the EasySix vaccine which contains DPT+HiB+IPV+Hepatitis B combination. Separate injection of PCV is needed and oral rotavirus is given. So the number of injections is reduced to 2 and rotavirus vaccine is oral. EasySix being killed whole cell pertussis containing the vaccine is relatively painful.
- Hexaxim + PCV + Rotavirus vaccine: In this plan we can use the Hexaxim vaccine which contains DTaP+HiB+IPV+Hepatitis B combination. Separate injection of PCV is needed with rotavirus vaccine given orally. Hexaxim being purified pertussis antigen containing vaccine is relatively painless.
- The injections are given in the same visit or different visits as per the parents’ choice. Currently in the corona pandemic to reduce the visits more injections are given in same visits.
- The selection of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is done after counseling of parents and based on their paying capacity the 13 valent or 10 valent vaccine is selected.
- Depending on parents socioeconomic status cost to benefit ratio of combination vaccines is accessed and proper guidance is provided to select the right brand based on their need.
- Currently more side effects are noted when Infanrix hexa is given with Prevnar-13 so these two doses aren’t given in the same visit.
- Rotavirus vaccine is given orally. Monovalent and pentavalent forms are available in the market. The decision about brand is taken after considering the parents opinion after the counseling about the vaccine.
- The parents are explained about the possible side effects of the individual vaccines and their benefits.
- The parents are explained about the care to be taken after the vaccine.
What are common side effects of these vaccinations?
Though the side effects and the severity of the side effects depend on individual vaccine some common side effects are:
- Fever: Fever usually comes after vaccination and may last for 1-3 days. Fever is more common with whole cell pertussis containing vaccines like Pentavac and EasySix vaccine than that of Hexaxim or Infanrix Hexa vaccine.
- Local pain and swelling: Local pain and swelling comes after vaccination and usually lasts for 1-3 days. It may subside with oral medicine like paracetamol and local cold fomentation. It is more common with whole cell pertussis containing vaccines like Pentavac and EasySix vaccine than with Hexaxim or Infanrix Hexa vaccine.
- Irritability and loss of appetite.
- Vomiting and loose motions.
- Sleeplessness or lethargy.
- All these side effects usually subside by its own and usually can be managed at home and does not need admission.