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World Immunization Week 2018: Painless vaccines vs painful or conventional vaccines – what's best for your kids?

Painless doesn't mean no-pain, no-tears. Read this before you go for a vaccination.

Vaccination is important for your baby, no doubt. However, once you reach the doctor s office, you are given two options to choose from painless vaccine or the conventional vaccine especially for DTP that is given at two, four, six and eighteen months of age. Often choosing the right one is a little confusing for most parents. Many believe that the painless vaccinations are the best option for the baby while others go with the conventional ones. The general beleif among parents is that even though the conventional vaccinations cause pain they might be better and effective than the painless ones. To clear this doubt about painless and conventional vaccine we got talking to Dr Chaitali Laddad, Founder & Director, The Pediatric Network, here is what she had to say about the two:

  • Both the vaccinations have the power to protect your baby from illness and boost immunity. It isn t like one is superior to the other. Even though many people think that the painless one is not as effective as the conventional one. Here is why you should never skip the optional vaccines.
  • Either of the vaccination will give your baby pain during the time of prick. Painless doesn t mean no-pain in a literal sense. Your baby is going to cry even when the painless vaccination is given.
  • The only advantage of painless vaccination is that it has fewer side-effects over the conventional one high-grade fever, vomiting or convulsions in extreme cases. Here are eight ways to soothe your baby s post vaccination pain.
  • The painless vaccine also called Pertussis (whooping-cough) vaccine is given as a combination of, DaPT (Diphtheria, acellular-Pertussis, Tetanus, Haemophilus influenza type B and injectable polio). The conventional or painful vaccination is given in a combination of DwPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis (cellular component), Tetanus, Haemophilus Influenza type B, Hepatitis B). In the painless variety, the component of Pertussis is diluted which results in less pain and fewer side effects.
  • If you choose to give your baby the conventional vaccination and it results in discomfort like high-grade fever, vomiting you can always shift to the painless one when you need to vaccinate your child the next time. Here are 10 things you should do when your child suffers from fever.
  • Remember even with the painless vaccination your baby could suffer from symptoms of fever or other side effects. However, in most cases (both painless and painful vaccination) the side-effects are manageable with paracetamol drops or cold compresses.

How to choose the right one for your baby?

At the paediatrician s clinic, you will be given both the options for the combination of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DPT). What you want is a personal choice. While the painful or the conventional ones are cost effective, the painless one can burn a whole in your pocket. Moreover, there is a popular belief that the effects of painless ones wane off too soon and so might not be as effective as the conventional ones. But that isn t true so opt for one after weighing all the pros and cons. Try to take an informed decision along with your paediatrician. My personal preference has always been painless vaccinations as it comes with fewer side effects.

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