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Combination vaccines okay for infants, study shows
Date:10/3/2007

A University of Rochester study brings relief to new parents who, while navigating a jam-packed childhood vaccine schedule, can expect to soothe their newborn through as many as 15 pokes by his or her six-month checkup.

The study, recently published in The Journal of Pediatrics, shows that no efficacy or safety is compromised when clinicians administer a new combination vaccine that streamlines the process in effect, tripling up three of the recommended shots to reduce the poke total from five to three, at each of three bimonthly, well-child checkups.

Only more immunizations will enter the schedule, said Michael Pichichero, M.D., professor of Microbiology/Immunology, Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of Rochester and the studys lead author. Coupling or tripling of these vaccines is increasingly important, as this streamlining helps to promote parent compliance, timely vaccination and fewer administration errors.

The study overturns findings (and fears) from a previous study that suggested problems when two specific vaccines were given at the same time Pediarix, a combination of vaccines that guard against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and poliovirus, and Prevnar, which protects against 76 strains of Streptococcus pneumonia. The earlier studies found that when the vaccines were co-administered, a suboptimal immune response was produced against whooping cough, and more uncomfortable reactions, such as swelling at the injection site, could be expected.

Both Pediarix and Prevnar are recommended for administration at 2-, 4- and 6-month checkups; Prevnar was approved in 2000, shortly before the licensure of Pediarix.

This newest study unseated both early reservations, showing that the combination vaccine was in fact just as safe and as immunogenic as separate shots, even in the midst of other vaccines in the schedule, Pichichero said.

Study Details

A total of 575 h
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Contact: Becky Jones
rebecca_jones@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-8490
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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