This page was reviewed or revised on Friday, September 30, 2011 2:43 PM
Environmental Health & Prevention Services
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect against some very serious infections. The Canadian Paediatric Society and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization strongly recommend routine immunization.
Pediacel® has five vaccines in one shot. It protects children against pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, polio and serious diseases like meningitis caused by the Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) germ.
It is recommended for use in infants and children younger than 7 years. Law requires vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus & polio for all children attending school in Ontario (unless exempted).
Pertussis, also called whooping cough, can infect people of any age. Teens and adults are the most common source of infection for infants and young children. Whooping cough spreads very easily through coughing or sneezing. It can cause spells of violent coughing that lead to vomiting or cause breathing to stop for a short period of time.
The cough can last for weeks and make it hard to eat, drink or even breathe. Whooping cough can cause pneumonia in more than 2 of 10 children and can also cause brain damage and death.
Diphtheria is a disease of the nose, throat and skin. It can cause breathing problems, heart failure and nerve damage. Diphtheria kills 1 of every 10 people who get the disease. It is passed to others through coughing and sneezing.
Tetanus, also called lockjaw, can happen if dirt, with the tetanus germ, gets into a cut in the skin. Tetanus germs are found everywhere, usually in soil, dust, and manure. It does not spread from person to person. Tetanus causes cramping of the muscles in the neck, arms, leg and stomach and painful convulsions which can be severe enough to break bones. Even with early treatment, tetanus kills 2 of every 10 people who get the disease.
Polio is a disease you can get from drinking water or eating food with the polio germ. It can cause nerve damage, and paralyze a person for life. It can paralyze muscles used for breathing, talking, eating and walking. It can also cause death.
Even though “influenzae” is a part of its name, the Hib germ does not cause influenza. Hib infections are much more serious. Before the Hib vaccine was used, the Hib germ was a common cause of serious infections in small children. More than half of all children with the Hib infection developed meningitis. Meningitis is a serious infection of the fluid and lining that cover the brain and spinal cord. It can cause brain damage, learning and developmental problems, deafness, blindness and death. Death occurs in about 1 of 20 children with meningitis.
Hib germ also causes a serious infection of the throat near the voice box. This infection is called epiglottis. This can make it difficult for the child to breathe. Hib germ can also cause infection of the lungs (pneumonia) and bone and joint infections.
Children under 5 years are more likely to catch it. Hib germ spreads to others through coughing and sneezing. Many people carry the Hib germ without any signs or symptoms of disease, but they can pass it on to others.
The cPDT Polio + Hib vaccine protects 85% against whooping cough, 85% against diphtheria, over 95% against tetanus, 99% against polio and about 90% of all children against serious Hib infections. It may make these diseases milder for those with them. It will not prevent meningitis caused by other germs. Vaccination also makes these diseases milder for those who may catch them.
The vaccine is given before starting kindergarten or school (age 4-6). Before that, your child should have received 4 needles: whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus and polio, as well as a shot for Hib at ages 2, 4, 6, and 18 months of age.
Around the 15th birthday, a TdP booster is given. After this, tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccine are given every 10 years.
The vaccine may not be given if a person:
•Has a fever or infection worse than a cold. They should wait until they recover.
• Is allergic to antibiotics.
• Had a previous reaction to the vaccine.
Yes. Serious side effects are rare. Mild pain, swelling and redness are common at the spot where the needle was given. Some get a mild fever, rash, lose their appetite or feel tired for a day or two. Benefits are less than the risk.
Your doctor may suggest you give acetaminophen (Tylenol) to control pain and fever.
• Mild soreness or redness at the site of the injection.
• Irritability, decreased appetite or slight fever may occur in the first 72 hours after the injection.
Call your doctor… if any of these symptoms happen with 3 days after the needle:
• High fever (over 40°C or 104°F)
• Pale colour
• Swelling of the face or mouth
• Trouble breathing
• Convulsions or seizures
• Crying for more than 3 hours
• Other serious problems
A severe allergic reaction, although rare, may occur following the use of this or any vaccine. Therefore, it is necessary to remain in the building for at least 15 minutes after receiving your injection.
Talk to your doctor or call the County of Lambton Community Health Services Department at 519 383-8331 for more information.
Always ensure the doctor or nurse updates your yellow immunization record card and keep it in a safe place. Call the Community Health Services Department to update your (and your family's) immunization record when you have a vaccine at your doctor's or elsewhere.