Do you know why they combine multiple vaccines into a single shot?
Not surprisingly, your answer likely says a lot about what you think about vaccines…
Why Do We Combine Vaccines?
Combination vaccines aren’t new.
The DPT vaccine was one of the first vaccines to be combined and that was way back in 1948. Before that, protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis came from three separate injections.
Want your child to get single antigen vaccines instead of a combo because you think they are getting too much in a combination vaccine? Keep in mind that the original DTP vaccine contained 3,002 antigens in each dose. And now, they get about 650 antigens from all of the vaccines they get during their whole childhood!
Which combination vaccine came next?
No, it wasn’t MMR.
When the first polio vaccines came out, kids got three separate vaccines against the three strains of polio. They were later combined into the single polio vaccines.
And to reduce the number of injections even further, from 1959 to 1968, Quadrigen, a DTP/Polio combination was available!
And then came the MMR combination vaccine in 1971, combining protection against measles, mumps, and rubella into one shot.
Are you starting to see why we combine vaccines?
It helps reduce the number of injections that a child receives at one visit.
It has nothing to do with trying to hide any proof of a vaccine injury, after all, most parents still get their kids the same vaccines, whether or not they are combined.
Is it to save money?
In general, combination vaccines are about the same price as individual vaccines. Some are a little more and some are a little less.
It is typically easier to order, store, and administer a combination vaccine than each of the individual vaccines separately though, which can save moey. Using combination vaccines may also help to reduce errors.
Still, combining vaccines has never been about anything more than reducing the number of shots that kids have to get to be protected.
“So, at a doctor’s visit, your child may only get two or three shots to protect him from five diseases, instead of five individual shots. Fewer shots may mean less pain for your child and less stress for you.”CDC on Combination Vaccines
“Combination vaccines were associated with improved completion and compliance and should be encouraged among children who are undervaccinated or who received single-antigen vaccines only.”Kurosky et al on Effect of combination vaccines on completion and compliance of childhood vaccinations in the United States
And it helps to keep vaccination rates up!
More on Combination Vaccines
- Discontinued Vaccines
- Should Parents Be Concerned About Combination Vaccines and Febrile Seizures?
- What Is a Hexavalent Vaccine?
- Are Vaccines Tested Together?
- Avoiding the Most Common Vaccine Errors
- Do Kids Really Get 72 Doses of Vaccines?
- Why Are Vaccine Schedules Different in Each Country?
- Vaccines Statistics and Numbers
- CDC – Combination Vaccines Information for Parents
- CDC – Fewer shots, but same protection
- Ask the Experts about Combination Vaccines
- Immunization Schedule with Combination Vaccines
- WHO – Benefits of Combination Vaccines
- Study – Effect of combination vaccines on completion and compliance of childhood vaccinations in the United States
- Study – Immune overload: Parental attitudes toward combination and single antigen vaccines