Information about Pediacel® Vaccine
- What is Pediacel®?
- How well does Pediacel® vaccine protect against these diseases?
- Who should be vaccinated with Pediacel®?
- Who should not get Pediacel®?
- What if my child misses one shot of Pediacel®?
- Is Pediacel® safe?
- Do I have to pay for Pediacel®?
- How do I reduce the pain my child feels when getting their shots?
- What is diphtheria?
- What is tetanus (lockjaw)?
- What is whooping cough (pertussis)?
- What is Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib - meningitis)?
- What is polio?
- Where can I find more information?
What is Pediacel®?
Pediacel® is a vaccine made for children less than seven years of age that protects against five diseases - diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), whooping cough (pertussis), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib - a bacteria causing meningitis) with one series of shots. More information on these diseases can be found on page two.
How well does Pediacel® vaccine protect against these diseases?
When your child receives all of the recommended shots of Pediacel®, this vaccine provides almost 100 percent protection against diphtheria, tetanus, polio and serious Hib meningitis and 85 percent protection against whooping cough. Vaccination can also make these diseases milder, particularly whooping cough. Protection against some of these diseases may wear off over time so children need further shots at four to six years of age and 14 to 16 years of age.
Who should be vaccinated with Pediacel®?
It is recommended that all infants receive Pediacel® vaccine at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months of age. If your child didn't start the schedule when they were 2 months old, they can still get this vaccine and receive protection from these diseases. Talk to your doctor about this.
Who should not get Pediacel®?
Your health care provider may decide not to give your child Pediacel® if your child has:
- a high fever or serious infection worse than a cold (delay the shot until your child is well);
- a severe allergy to an antibiotic called neomycin or polymyxin B;
- a severe allergy to a previous dose of Pediacel® or any component of the vaccine
What if my child misses one shot of Pediacel®?
Your child should get the next shot as soon as possible. Your health care provider will tell you when to come back for the other shots. Even if your child misses a shot, they don't have to get the ones they have already received again.
Is Pediacel® safe?
Yes. Serious side effects are rare. Mild pain, swelling and redness for a few days are common at the spot where the needle was given. Some children get a fever, rash, lose their appetite or are fussy or drowsy for a day or two after the needle. Call your health care provider if your child has any of the following symptoms within three days of being vaccinated:
- high fever (over 40 C or 104 F)
- crying for more than three hours
- convulsions or seizures
- very pale or grey colour and drowsiness
- swelling of the face or mouth
- trouble breathing
Do I have to pay for Pediacel®?
No. This vaccine is free.
How do I reduce the pain my child feels when getting their shots?
You can give your child a topical cream to numb the area before vaccination or acetaminophen or ibuprofen to prevent pain and fever after they have received a vaccination.
What is diphtheria?
Diphtheria is a serious but very rare disease of the nose, throat and skin that may cause sore throat, fever and chills. Infection can lead to breathing problems, heart failure and nerve damage. Diphtheria may kill one out of every 10 people with the disease. It is most often spread through coughing, sneezing and direct contact with a person with diphtheria or an item they have used.
What is tetanus (lockjaw)?
Tetanus is a serious but rare disease that may occur when tetanus bacteria get into a deep cut in the skin. Tetanus bacteria are found everywhere including soil, dust and animal manure and can survive for long periods in the soil as spores or particles. Tetanus causes muscle cramping in the neck, arms, legs and stomach, and painful convulsions. It may kill up to two out of every 10 people who get the disease. Tetanus does not spread from person to person.
What is whooping cough (pertussis)?
Whooping cough is a serious disease of the lungs, especially in very young children that spreads very easily through coughing, sneezing or contact with the discharge of an infected person. It may cause spells of violent coughing, leading to vomiting, and may cause breathing to stop for short periods of time in very young children. The cough can last for weeks and make it hard to eat, drink, sleep or breathe. Pneumonia (lung infection) occurs in more than one out of five children with whooping cough and it may also cause brain damage and death in rare cases. Children less than one year of age are most likely to have severe illness or die from whooping cough, especially if their vaccinations are not up to date.
What is Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib - meningitis)?
Hib meningitis is caused by bacteria that can infect the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). The Hib bacteria can spread from child to child through coughing and sneezing and can be carried in the nose and throat without symptoms in some people. Hib meningitis, which is rare now due to vaccination, can cause deafness, severe throat infection that can make breathing difficult, brain damage and death. Children under five years of age are most at risk.
What is polio?
Polio is a disease of the spinal cord that can cause nerve damage making people very weak or paralyzed for life. It can pass from person to person through contaminated water, food or through direct contact with an infected individual. Polio has been eliminated from Canada due to vaccination but children can still be exposed in Canada, although rarely or when traveling abroad.
Where can I find more information?
For further information, ask your doctor or call Toronto Public Health Immunization Information Line at 416-392-1250.
Last updated November 2011