Reducing Injection Pain during Vaccination and the Risk of Local Reactions and Abscesses

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Published
2013
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Reducing pain during vaccination is becoming increasingly relevant as more vaccines become available and two or more vaccines may need to be administered simultaneously. While in some countries, up to four injectable vaccines have been administered simultaneously for years (e.g., United States with DTaP, Hib, IPV and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine-PCV recommended at the same ages and often given as separate vaccines), most Latin American countries are only now starting to give multiple injections simultaneously. Oftentimes, pentavalent (DTP-Hib-Hep B) is given in one thigh and PCV in the other; when IPV gets more widely used, two injections will have to be administered in the same limb. While there are no contraindications to administer vaccines simultaneously, or in the same limb if the injections are separated by about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch), mothers and health care workers are more and more concerned over the pain inflicted on the infant, and the potential for local reactions.