Children’s Vaccine
Monday, Sept. 8, 2008

Taking a toddler in for shots is tough on both the child and the parents. The FDA has approved a new vaccine that could take some of the stress out of well-baby visits. Dr. Ed Hill discusses this new vaccine in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved Pentacel, the first combination vaccine to protect children against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b infections.

The five-in-one vaccine is approved for use in infants and children aged 6 weeks through 4 years. It is not for use in children over age 5.

Pentacel is given in four doses, at ages two, four and six months and a final shot before the child reaches 18 months of age.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, children under 18 months who follow the recommended childhood immunization schedule would need up to 23 shots. The new combination vaccine could reduce that number by seven.

The vaccine’s approval came after a study involving more than 5,000 children in the U.S. and Canada showed that the vaccine was safe and effective.

Some people may be allergic to parts of the Pentacel vaccine and persons who have had reactions to tetanus or pertussis-containing vaccine may not be able to receive Pentacel.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Ed Hill.