5in1 and 6in1 combination vaccines – advantages and disadvantages

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The 5in1 vaccine and the 6in1 vaccine provide simultaneous protection against five or six infectious diseases. These preparations are not reimbursed by the National Health Fund. They are intended for infants from the age of 2 months, the last dose should be given to the child before the age of 3 years.

Before deciding on a vaccination schedule and vaccine preparation, parents often wonder which vaccine to choose: 5v1 or 6v1? Are combination or conventional vaccines better, what are the advantages and disadvantages of 6in1 and 5in1 vaccines? The answers to these questions are given in this article – details.

According to the Preventive Vaccination Program (PPP), during the first vaccination visit to our family medicine practice, the child must be vaccinated against whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis (Polio), Haemophilus influenzae type B and hepatitis B (Hepatitis B). Vaccination against the above-mentioned diseases is mandatory. However, we have the choice to opt for the paid, modern and safe 5in1 or 6in1 combination preparations, instead of the free single injections which give immunity against these diseases.

What is a combination vaccine?

Combination vaccines are also known as polyvalent or multicomponent vaccines. They introduce antigens from several micro-organisms into our body during a single injection and thus protect us against several infectious diseases at the same time. According to a scientific study carried out in 2015, 64% of respondents choose the combined preparations, 78% of them choose the 5 in 1 vaccine and 22% for the 6 in 1 vaccine. What are the reasons for these differences?

5in1 and 6in1 vaccines – which vaccines are most often chosen by parents?

The opinion of parents confirms that the vast majority, 88% of respondents, when given the choice between reimbursed and paid combination vaccines, opt for the combination vaccine, the main reason for this decision being the reduction in the number of skin injections. According to Mme's study (survey of 1,002 people), nearly 80% of parents want to spare their child pain, while 56% do not agree with three injections (shots) during a single vaccination visit.

On the other hand, less than 2% of respondents believe that combination vaccines are simply safer. Other surveys show that parents who did not vaccinate their children with paid combination vaccines said that if the National Health Fund reimbursed combined (multi-component) vaccines, they would definitely have their children vaccinated with such a preparation. .

Similarities and differences of 5in1 and 6in1 products

The common feature of 5in1 vaccine and 6in1 vaccine is the presence of the same five components in the formulation, namely: Diphtheria toxoid, Tetanus toxoid, Pertussis toxoid, Haemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide conjugated (combined) with toxoid tetanus, poliomyelitis virus (inactivated) types 1, 2, 3. The difference between the vaccines is the presence of an additional component in the 6in1 vaccine – hepatitis B surface antigen, which provides additional protection against hepatitis b.

Advantages of combination vaccines

A definite advantage of combination vaccines is the reduction in the number of injections a child has to undergo before the age of 2 years. In the case of the 5 in 1 vaccine, the number of injections is reduced from 14 to 7, and if the 6 in 1 vaccine is chosen, the number of injections is reduced from 14 to 5. Another advantage of combination vaccines is reducing the frequency of clinic visits. By choosing multicomponent preparations, we provide immunity against more than one infectious disease during a single vaccination.

Additionally, observations of post-vaccination reactions show that combination vaccines may cause less severe reactions (such as fever) than monovalent vaccines, which are components of a multivalent formulation.

This may be because the 5in1 and 6in1 vaccines contain acellular pertussis antigen, which causes fewer adverse effects and reactions to vaccination. It should also be noted that they also do not contain thimerosal (a preservative), which may be present in trace amounts in individual reimbursable vaccines. The absence of the above ingredient in combined preparations reduces the risk of allergic reactions.

Disadvantages of combination vaccines

The biggest disadvantage of combination vaccines is undoubtedly their cost, which can put a heavy strain on parents' budgets, especially if they plan to carry out not only mandatory vaccinations, but also vaccinations. recommended and entirely chargeable services, such as those against meningococcal disease.

Fortunately, the availability of these preparations in Polish pharmacies is high, and their purchase is not a major problem.

The safety and effectiveness of these preparations have been confirmed by clinical trials. Other studies have shown that for many parents and caregivers, the choice of paid and non-reimbursed vaccines is a major financial barrier, but the number of young patients vaccinated with combination preparations is greater than the number of children vaccinated with reimbursed and free vaccines.


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