Pentavac vaccine is one of the most widely used vaccines for inoculating children. As the name of the vaccine suggests, penta means it protects against five diseases. So let’s understand the importance of the pentavalent vaccine in the children.
What is the Pentavac vaccine ?
Pentavac is a vaccine for the children against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, haemophilus influenza and hepatitis B. It is manufactured by serum institute of india, Pune. Previously there were different vaccines for diphtheria, pertusis and tetanus (DPT)and haemophilus influenza and hepatitis B. So instead of giving three vaccines, now only one dose of pentavac is sufficient.
What does pentavac vaccine contain ?
Pentavac vaccine contains following contains
- Diphtheria toxoid 30IU
- Tetanus toxoid 40IU
- Killed whole cell Pertusis toxoid 41 IU
- Killed Hepatitis B surface antigen 10 mcg
- Haemophilus influenzae type B polysaccharide antigen 10 mcg
- Aluminium phosphate 1.25mcg
- Thiomersal 0.005%
Pentavac is available in liquid form. It contains cloudy solutions. It is most commonly available in single dose vial form. Pre-filled syringe is also available in the market which is known as Pentavac PFS.
Against which diseases pentavac vaccine protect?
There are five diseases against which babies get protected as follows.
- Diphtheria – It is one of the serious bacterial infections of nose and mucous membrane of throat in which there is difficulty in breathing, heart failure and death may occur.
- Pertusis – It is a bacterial infection in which the respiratory tract is involved which leads to cough which is barking cough which is also known as whooping cough, if it is not subside then it may be fatal.
- Tetanus – It is one of the critical diseases of the nervous system which is caused by toxins released by tetanus bacteria.
- Haemophilus influenzae – It is one of the bacterial infections in which covering of the brain is involved leading to meningitis in children. It also causes pneumonia in children.
- Hepatitis B – It is a viral disease which affects liver in the body and it is mostly transmitted by bloodborne route.
So those five diseases are very deadly diseases. So protection against them is very important so vaccination against those diseases is recommended in children.
At what temperature pentavac vaccine is stored?
Pentavac vaccine is stored at the temperature of 2-8 degree celsius. It can be stored in the middle compartment of the refrigerator. The vaccine must not be frozen if it is frozen then it should be discarded.
How is the pentavac vaccine administered?
Pentavac vaccine is given at anterolateral aspect of the thigh deep intramuscularly in infants only by children doctor (Pediatrician). The dose of the pentavac administered is 0.5ml intramascularly. Intradermal, subcutaneous, intravenous routes of administration must be avoided as the efficacy of the vaccine is not known on administration from those routes. The site of inoculation is anterolateral thigh because most of the muscle mass is present at that site. Some low birth weight baby have less muscle mass, so it is always preferable to get vaccinated by pediatrician.
Before administration of the pentavac, the site of the inoculation is sterilized with the help of spirit swabs. After administration of the vaccine, an empty vaccine syringe must be discarded in a proper biodegradable bag.
How does the pentavac vaccine work?
Pentavac is killed vaccine. When the pentavac vaccine is administered, body ‘s immune response will get activated against the antigens, so that antibodies are formed against those antigens so protection starts against those five diseases. Aluminium present in the vaccine improves the immune response of the vaccine.
What are the uses of the pentavac vaccine ?
Pentavac is used for protection against diphtheria, pertusis, tetanus, haemophilus meningitis, hepatitis B infection in the children.
What is the schedule of the pentavac vaccine ?
Pentavac vaccine is given at age of 6 week, 10 week, 14 week and booster dose at 18 month and five year. The booster dose of 18 month contains DPT + Haemophilus influenza and the 5 years booster dose contains Tdap.
What are the side effects of the pentavac vaccine ?
The Pentavac vaccine contains a whole cell component of pertusis which is painful. The side effects of the pentavac are as follow
- Fever – Fever is one of the common side effects after vaccination of pentavac vaccine. It is due to the immune response of the body against the foreign antigens. Fever may last for 2-3 days. So it is always recommended for the parents to give paracetamol drops to their baby in the proper dose for two days. Very rarely some may suffer from febrile convulsion after pentavac vaccination in such cases patients may need to get admitted in the hospital. The incidence of febrile convulsion is very rare.
- Pain and swelling at the inoculation site – Pain at the site of inoculation is very much common. Ice fomentation at local sites and paracetamol drop is helpful in reducing pain and swelling. Swelling may reduce in 5-7 days. Sometimes swelling may increase a lot at such times it is better to consult your pediatrician immediately.
- Excessive crying – After administration of the pentavac, the baby may be irritable and cry a lot due to the pain. Baby may not feed at breast properly. But it is not the same for each baby. Such symptoms may last for 2-3 days.
Due to side effects of the pentavac vaccine, painless vaccines are preferred like hexaxim, infanrix hexa but the cost of vaccination will increase with those vaccines.
What are contraindications of pentavac vaccine?
- Children who had suffered from anaphylaxis reaction to the previous dose of pentavac vaccine.
- Children who are allergic to the components of the vaccine.
- Children who are suffering from brain disorders.
What is the price of a pentavac vaccine ?
The price of the pentavac vaccine is different at different places. But overall the range of 500-600 is the cost of pentavac vaccination. Please consult your pediatrician about the cost of the vaccination.
Can we give other vaccines with the pentavac vaccine ?
We can give pneumonia vaccine, Diarrhea vaccine and oral polio vaccine along with pentavac vaccine at the same time. You can give pneumonia vaccines later as well.
Ref – Serum institute of India