Let's discuss something about the pentavalent vaccines and what advantage they have in the immunization of newborns..
(The Gavi vaccine alliance and support for immunization and prevention of childhood diseases is providing more than 90 million doses of pentavalent vaccines to all children in many states of India, worth hundreds of millions of US$. There is a partnership framework agreement between the Govt. of India and Gavi alliance under Appendix B.)
Pentavalent vaccines, as the name suggests is a combined vaccine that constitutes:
- Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT)
- Hepatitis B (Hep B) and
- Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib).
From a previous post by our one of the authors on immunization schedule chart we are clear of the fact that each vaccine dose has increased risk of adverse reactions that may be local (due to prick) or systemic or both, which may affect the health of the child.
So to avoid such adverse reactions and major complications, WHO has recommended introduction of pentavalent vaccine to the national immunization schedule which will further reduce the incidence of pneumonia, meningitis and other life- threatening diseases caused by Hib bacteria.
Also, it will replace the current Hep B and DPT vaccination schedule in the immunization programme.
The key points about the application of vaccine are:-
- liquid form (no diluent required)
- in a vial which contains 10 doses
- Dose strength: 0.5 ml to be given by intra- muscular injection in antero- lateral aspect of mid thigh using Auto- Disable (AD) syringes.
> COLD CHAIN:
- Storage: +2 - +8° C in ice- lined refrigerators (ILRs) and vaccine carriers with conditioned ice packs.
- to be discarded if Vaccine Vial Monitor (VVM) reaches discard point. (when color of square matches or is darker than the circle).
I apologize for bad drawing.. hope you understand the point. ;p
Advantages of pentavalent vaccine:
- The dose schedule for DPT, HepB, and Hib is the same. (6, 10 and 14 weeks). So giving combined vaccine saves time and reduces number of pricks.
- To reduce the severity and chances of complications and adverse reactions of vaccines.
- also reduces the load of syringes and vaccination equipment to be required during transportation and storage process.
-- Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) infection has caused several life- threatening diseases in children <5 years of age. Antibiotics have not been effective and much antibiotic resistance has developed among children by now.
So, the pentavalent vaccine provides an adequate preventive and control measure. Three doses at 6, 10 and 14 weeks is recommended for children less than one year of age.
- Hepatitis B birth dose will continue as before, in institutional birth within 24 hours.
- DPT boosters at 16- 24 months and at 5 years will continue as before.
Happy Medicowesome! :)
- Jaskunwar Singh