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Vaccine Order Affects Pain in Immunized Infants

Last Updated: May 06, 2009.

Infants receiving the less painful vaccine against five pathogens followed by the more painful pneumococcal vaccine experience less pain overall than if the vaccinations are given in the reverse order, according to a study in the May issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Infants receiving the less painful vaccine against five pathogens followed by the more painful pneumococcal vaccine experience less pain overall than if the vaccinations are given in the reverse order, according to a study in the May issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Moshe Ipp, from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and colleagues examined the acute pain response in 120 infants aged 2 to 6 months old receiving the diphtheria, polio and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis and Haemophilus influenzae type b (DPTaP-Hib) vaccine and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), where half received the DPTaP-Hib vaccine first and the other half received the PCV vaccine first.

As assessed by the Modified Behavioral Pain Scale, parent rating using the visual analog scale, and crying, the researchers found that pain was significantly lower when the DPTaP-Hib vaccine was given first.

"Pain was reduced when the DPTaP-Hib vaccine was administered before the PCV in infants undergoing routine vaccination. We recommend that the order of vaccine injections be the DPTaP-Hib vaccine followed by the PCV," Ipp and colleagues conclude.

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