The other day I went to my pediatrician to get my 5-year-old vaccinated. The vaccination schedule showed a long list of 5 vaccinations to be done! I couldn’t bear to think about the kind of pain this would generate and how my kiddo would react to it. But when we went to the doctor, only two shots – one on each leg were administered. When asked, the doctor confirmed that these were multiple vaccines in one shot or combination vaccines and hence all 5 were done in one go. I was relieved to hear that, but it also brought thoughts about the kind of reaction it would have in my baby. So I asked her to spare some time and clarify my doubts. Here’s what the doctor had to say –

Early vaccination for better prevention

The vaccines that we administered to my child this time were DPT, typhoid, MMR, etc. These are life-threatening diseases or diseases with life long side effects. Early vaccination against such kids of diseases helps children stay protected. Vaccinations mean that a weak version of the germ is introduced in the body to activate the immune system of our body. This ensures that the body up’s its defense mechanism and the child’s immunity increases to fight the disease.

Why combine multiple vaccines?

The actual list of recommended vaccines for children in the age-group of 0-16 is quite long. Giving one shot per vaccine is not only exhausting as the time duration between two vaccines will be less, but it will also be discomforting and traumatizing for the child. To avoid this, the combination of vaccines was developed. Such combination vaccines have been around for some time now and have been recommended in developed countries like America since the 1940’s

Multiple vaccines are safe for babies - here's what you should know

Are multiple vaccines or a combination of vaccines safe?

One of the oldest combination vaccines are DPT (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) and MMR (measles-mumps-rubella). They are completely safe. There are no extra side effects either. Scientific studies show that giving multiple vaccinations at the same time is equally effective and there is no real reason to separate the same.

Is giving multiple vaccines to a child more painful?

Multiple vaccines simply mean that the important antigens of a particular disease are combined in a single vaccine. This does not add to the existing pain or discomfort that the child might face after an injection. Normally, before any vaccine is licensed extensive tests are done to gauge the safety of the vaccine hence these vaccines can be given to the children without any worry. Any rash, fever or irritation that the child might face after vaccination is temporary and the effect will wear off in a couple of days.

Some vaccines are given at regular intervals, what if I delay one of the shots?

Some vaccines like DPT and MMR are to be given at a regular interval. This is to ensure that the child is protected for a longer period of time. A delay of some days due to ill health or any other reason is fine. However, do not delay it longer as the child is not protected in that period. So, if you miss giving the second shot by say 6 months, you don’t need to repeat the initial dose, however, for those 6 months, the baby is not protected against that particular disease.

With my pediatrician’s help I understood a lot of things about multiple vaccines and also busted some myths. Hopefully, you found it as insightful and enriching as me. So these were some of the doubts that I had, do share your experiences and doubts in the comments below. Let’s find the answers together and be well-informed parents.

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Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928529/

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/multiple-vaccines-immunity.html

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13 Replies to “Multiple vaccines are safe for babies – here’s what you should know”

  1. Yeah we have delayed a few vaccines quite a bit of times due to various reasons and the paediatrician said it was okay and explained the same above. but some people are under the assumption that something will happen to the child if the vaccine is not given on time.

  2. I have always followed my paediatrician’s advice and given multiple vaccines to my son at the same time. It does work out best that way.

  3. Some of the vaccines my kids got were combination ones. Their paed advised them and also informed their need and benefits. Good and informative post.

  4. I am totally dependent on this on my doctor’s suggestion. What he suggested I follow the same. I heard about the multiple vaccines in a combination to reduce the pain.

  5. This is truly an insightful post, Neha. These are some of the common doubts which almost every parent have regarding the vaccines. But we don’t get these answered easily, it’s great to know that your doctor answered all these queries and cleared the myths around vaccination.

  6. Nice information on vaccines. Now a days due to availability of multiple vaccines vaccination has become hassel free as compared to earlier times.

  7. vaccines are important for kids. I was given enough shots as a kid and thankfully i have never had any major disease. I give multiple vaccines as suggested by the doctor to my son too. This is a helpful post.

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