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Less reaction to DTaP vaccine given in kids' thighs than arms
Date:1/13/2013

SEATTLEChildren age 12 to 35 months who receive DTaP vaccine in their thigh muscle rather than their arm are around half as likely to be brought in for medical attention for an injection-site reaction. So says a new study of 1.4 million children at Group Health and seven other Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) centers across the country, e-published on January 14 in Pediatrics.

"These local reactions are the most common side effect of vaccinations," said study leader Lisa A. Jackson, MD, MPH, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. "But we have known relatively little about how to prevent them." Local reactions go away after a day or two, but they can be painful, and the associated redness and swelling can concern parents. This study focused on "medically attended" local reactions: ones that resulted in a visit to a doctor, nurse, or emergency room. Ideally, medically attended local reactions would happen less often than the current nearly one in 100 vaccinated children.

"Our findings support current recommendations to give intramuscular vaccinations in the thigh for children younger than 3 years," Dr. Jackson said. Since 2011, the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that intramuscular vaccinations be given to toddlers aged 12 to 35 months preferably in the thigh muscle (or in the deltoid muscle of the arm only if it's big enough)and to children age 3 years older in the deltoid muscle of the arm. But in practice, health care providers tend to vary in their choice of vaccine injection sites for children; and parents can influence that decision.

The research team also tracked local reactions in children age 3 to 6 years and from intramuscular vaccines other than DTaP, including inactivated influenza and hepatitis A. But they found no statistically significant differences between vaccinating in the thigh and arm in the older age group or for the other intramuscular vaccines.'/>"/>

Contact: Rebecca Hughes
hughes.r@ghc.org
206-287-2055
Group Health Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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Less reaction to DTaP vaccine given in kids' thighs than arms
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