Health & Medical Children & Kid Health


Updated June 08, 2015.
Q. I was watching TLC on TV and it mentioned an immunization shot called Pediarix, which was a combination of three or four shots administered together. I can not find a doctor who administers this shot in my area. I do not understand why an infant has to go through the trauma of four shots at one time in the legs when there is an alternative of one shot. Would you be able to tell me who has this immunization shot? Nancy, St. Cloud, FL

Pediarix is a vaccine that combines the DTaP, IPV, and Hep B vaccines, which protect children against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, and hepatitis B, into one shot.

By using Pediarix, infants are able to receive fewer shots, since instead of getting the DTaP, IPV and Hepatitis B shots separately, your baby can get them all in a single shot.

The only downside is that there is a little bit of a higher risk of fever for infants who get Pediarix instead of the three separate shots.

To find a Pediatrician in your area that has Pediarix, you might try contacting GlaxoSmithKline, the company that makes it.

There are several reasons for why a Pediatrician's office might not have it yet, including that they:
  • don't want to deal with having another vaccine in the office, since you still have to stock the separate vaccines in case a child started getting their vaccines somewhere else
  • are worried about how insurance companies will pay them for Pediarix
  • don't like using things that are new (although it has already been out for several years)

  • the are already using the Comvax vaccine, which combines the Hib and Hep B vaccines, and so they would see less of a reduction in shots by switching to Pediarix
With all of these choices, it is possible that at the two month visit, your baby could get:
  • five separate shots, including DTaP, IPV, Hepatitis B, Hib, and Prevnar
  • four separate shots, including DTaP, IPV, Comvax (which combines Hib and Hepatitis B), and Prevnar
  • three separate shots, including Pediarix (which combines DTaP, IPV, and Hepatitis B), Hib, and Prevnar
And hopefully we will soon see even more combination vaccines, like Hexavac that combines the DTaP, IPV, Hepatitis B, and Hib vaccines into one shot. Hexavac has already been approved to be used in Europe, although there is no word yet if it will be approved by the FDA so that we can use it in the United States.

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