A pentavalent vaccine is a combination of five individual vaccines in one. It is intended to actively protect children from five potential deadly diseases. One main type of pentavalent vaccine is one that protects against Haemophilus influenzae type B, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B and diphtheria.
It has been found that the combination of the vaccines is safe when administered as a booster dose for children. It is adequately immunogenic and effective.
There are several versions of the pentavalent vaccine, including:
1. Pentavac PFS
2. Easyfive TT
4. ComBE Five
Advantages of pentavalent vaccines
It provides protection against one more deadly diseases. The number of injections administered during the first year of life of any child reduces from nine to six. Moreover, the vaccine does not require reconstitution.
Administering the vaccine
Pentavalent vaccines should be administered for any child aged over 6 weeks to 1 year. It should not be given to children below 6 months.
There are three doses of pentavalent vaccine. The first dose is given only after a child is 6 weeks old. The second and third doses are given at 10 and 14 weeks of age, respectively, in the form of a pentavalent vaccine. There is no booster dose that should be given.
1. Gastrointestinal disorders are quite common, but are not very serious. General issues like diarrhea and vomiting can be seen.
2. General problems like pain and swelling at the injection site accompanied by fever are quite commonly seen. This is usually accompanied by redness at the injection site.
3. There are a few metabolism and nutrition disorders.
4. One tends to feel very sleepy after getting vaccinated.
5. There are also common psychological problems such as irritability.
Although there can be quite a few side effects, none of them are serious. They tend to go away in a day or two.
Pentavalent vaccines are easy to use and have advantages over vaccines for a single disease. The side effects are a little discomforting, but since they do not last long, they can be given to children. The time when one has to be given the vaccine should be taken care of.