We recently got my son vaccinated. My in-laws were visiting during that time and once we were back MIL was looking at the kids with concern. “Is it paining? Do you have any swelling? What did the doctor say?” she went on a questioning spree.

While I answered her questions, I found it a bit amusing that she should be worried about simple vaccinations. After lunch as we sat down to talk, she was still surprised that kiddo was almost back to normal, except for the localized pain. The slight discomfort too was gone with cold compression.

“Vaccinations used to be dreadful earlier! Glad they found a better way to administer it,” she said. Personally, I don’t remember much about my vaccinations. With a houseful of doctors, cribbing about needle shot never got me anywhere, so I wasn’t really sure about the fuss. 

MIL was saying “I am scared of the needle but apart from that vaccination during our time was a painful affair. All the swelling, the fever, etc. always made me think if it was really necessary to torture the child. Kashala vikatcha dukhana ghyaycha (Why pay for enduring pain?” she said in Marathi.

“Oh! That’s why the doctor said these are painless vaccinations.” I have to look up the difference, I thought to myself.

After a few weeks of research, this is what I have understood about less painful vaccinations.

Less painful vaccine is my reason to be happy at vaccination time

What are painless or less painful vaccines?

Painless vaccines or acellular vaccines are a combination vaccine that contains fewer antigens as compared to painful vaccines. Painless vaccines are called DaPT (Diphtheria, acellular Pertussis and Tetanus.) while painful vaccines are called DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus) 

In simpler terms the major difference in both the vaccines is that painful vaccines are made of whole cell whereas the painless ones are made of the important parts of the Bacteria or Virus known as antigens. 

Whichever vaccine is given, the pain of needle prick will have to be endured. The ‘pain’ in the painless vaccines refers to the side-effects that the child experiences like high fever, swelling, pain after the injection etc. In less painful vaccines these side-effects are minimum or negligible. 

Advantages of Less Painful Vaccines

  1. The pain or side-effects of the vaccine are minimum
  2. There is no fever or very mild
  3. The child recovers faster
  4. There is no fear associated with vaccinations for the child and hence vaccination visits to the doctor become simple.

Disadvantages of less painful vaccines

Practically there are no disadvantages of less painful vaccines except for maybe the cost of the vaccine. Currently, as compared to painful vaccines, less painful vaccines are costlier.

A Mom’s Perspective

As I heard my MIL talk about the painful vaccines and how children would be in pain for close to a week, I found this new variation a boon. It also made me realize that the whole fear around injections probably stemmed from such painful vaccine memories. As both the vaccines are equally effective, it is beneficial to give less painful vaccines. 

What are your experiences? Do you have a memory of painful vaccinations or some experience around less painful vaccinations? Do share in comments below.

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.



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12 Replies to “Less painful vaccine is my reason to be happy at vaccination time”

  1. You are correct Neha. In earlier days, vaccinations used to be painful accompanied with fever. I remember, there used to be a vaccination which would leave a big mark on the arm. Almost all the parents from our parent’s generation have that mark. Also there was an understanding that taap tar yenarach. And it is necessary to get fever then only the medicine will get in the system.

    Personally,neither I nor my kids have any such painful memory.

  2. Painless vaccine was trend ten years back. In recent years doctors have contradictory views about it. We vaccinated elder one with painless vaccines where as the younger one had regular vaccines only.

  3. Yes. Vaccinations in our times were extremely painful for kids and traumatic for moms to see their children go through it. Glad vaccines are now developing and less stressful to register

  4. We opted for painless vaccines after our paediatrician suggested them and we’re glad for our choice. They’re better and an equally safe option for kids too.

  5. I remember Vaccination meant tears, fevers, bumps and endless stress. For both, the child and mother. This is the 1st I have heard of Painless Vaccination and i think it is a great step. Parents and Child will both be relieved.

  6. I may be wrong but I think another disadvantage of pain-free vaccines are that they are not easily available. We always prefer to choose the pain-free kind but some times there is a shortage of supply.

  7. The absolute thought of getting vaccinations for kids can give nightmares to parents due to the pain it can cause. Nothing better if there is an option of less painful vaccination available.

  8. Pain less vaccines are good but as Noor said there is availability issue sometimes. Otherwise these are good options for vaccinating . All your points are right .

  9. I remember my mom telling me to get ready to deal with a cranky baby for a few days when my son got his vaccination. But I was surprised that he didn’t get that cranky and got normal by the evening. When I checked with the doctor again she told me about these less painful vaccines which she prefers giving to her patients.

  10. Pain full vaccine is nightmare for my little ones. This post clear many doubts about less painful vaccination and that it is equally effective as painfully vaccine

  11. I am so glad you choose yo wrote on this topic buddy, it is so vital for new parents to have their doubts resolved about the less painful vaccines

  12. I want to know why did they not come up with painless vaccinations when we were kids? I remember the pain and the fever that last days! I am glad that this alternative is equally effective while saving from the pain of both the experience! and the real wound!

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