There’s been a little bit of news today about the newly-approved vaccine that combines protection against diptheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, and polio. Much of the news revolves around the promise of less shots for kids in the first six months of life (in one report, “up to six fewer injections”), but by my calculations, Pediarix (the new vaccine) will generally lead to only two less shots in the first six months. Right now, infants get four shots at each of their first two visits — DTaP (diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis), Comvax (hepatitis B and H. influenzae), Prevnar (pneumococcus), and IPV (polio). At six months, kids get three more shots — another DTaP, another Prevnar, and another IPV, totalling out at 11 vaccines in the first six months. Under the new scheme, the little ones will get three shots at each of the first three visits — Pediarix, Prevnar, and IPV — adding up to nine total vaccines. Add to that number the fact that Pediarix causes a statistically-significant increase in fever after vaccination, and I’m not sure that the new preparation is worth it.
Dec 16, 2002 | Medicine