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Painful vs Painless Vaccination



Vaccination on time is of utmost importance to protect your child against life threatening or deadly diseases. Most of the vaccines that child or baby must take are mostly injectables and the thought of little heart going through the pain of shot or discomfort is the real nightmare for almost all parents.
As parents, we want to gift our baby the best of everything. No parents want to see their baby crying but at the same time they also want the solution that protects them from diseases for longer time. And here comes the query and confusion around pain and painless vaccination.
This blog will help you understand what you mean by painful and painless vaccination, myths around painless what to choose, risks and benefits of both the offering.

What is Painful and painless vaccination?

The first thing to note is that whenever we are talking about painful and painless vaccination, we are mentioning about DTwP and DTaP. The DTwP or DTaP is a combination vaccine that protects against Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertusis, also known as whooping cough.
The denotion ‘a ‘stand for acellular vaccine and ‘w’ stand for whole cell vaccine. This is applicable for pertussis vaccine only.
Amongst all the recommended vaccines, DTwP is considered most painful as it results into severe pain, fever, vomiting, swelling or redness or inflammation at the site of injection. The reason it is so painful is because the vaccine contains whole cell of pertussis bacteria which is highly immunogenic.
Unlike DTwP, DTaP consist of acellular part which is less immunogenic and hence the side effects are very mild.
But remember painless dose not mean that the child is not going to have any pain during shot or injection. It is just that post effects are milder in painless as compared to painful. Hence, technically painless can also be termed a less painful.
The recommended schedule for DTP vaccines is 3 doses with its first dose in 6th week, followed by 10th and 14th week. Booster dose of the same is scheduled at 1.5 years and 5 years of age.

Are painless vaccines safe and effective?

Studies has proved that both painless and painful vaccines, both are equally effective. However, one should always keep a note that no vaccine is 100% effective.
Painless vaccines are safe too that results into very mild side effect as compared to the painful one.
Painless vaccines are little expensive as compared to a painful one but brings lot of convenience and ease to baby as well as parents.

Myths around painless vaccine:

There are many myths around painless vaccines which many a time leads to confusion among parents.

  1. Painless vaccines are less effective:
    Painful and painless vaccines refer to the DTwP (whole cell Pertussis) and DTaP (acellular Pertussis) respectively.
    It has been proved by studies that painful and painless vaccines are equally effective against Pertussis.
  2. Painless vaccines do not hurt you at all:
    Most of the recommended vaccines are given as injectables, except few which are oral such as polio or rotavirus. It is a mis notion that people feel that painless vaccines do not hurt even during the shot. The prick pain is going to be there regardless of painful or painless vaccine.
  3. Each recommended vaccine comes with option of painful and painless:
    Painful and painless only applies to vaccine that has subunit of Pertussis. Not all vaccine comes with choices. It is only applicable for combination vaccine that has pertussis subunit.
  4. Painless vaccines are way too expensive:
    Painless vaccine is the combination vaccine that fights against three diseases which are tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. The combination vaccine is relatively a little higher in price but for sure not too expensive, as it gives protection against multiple diseases and has its own benefits regarding convenience and time.
    In fact, painless vaccines save a lot of cost in due course as you don’t need to visit clinic frequently and do not have to pay every time for vaccination.

So, pain or painless
Don’t hesitate and get vaccinated….!