One Baby Shot for 5 Diseases

The News: The US FDA has approved a five-in-one combination vaccine. It will protect babies against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, and polio.

Meaning: Until now, baby has needed 9 shots in the first half year of life. Three shots of the new vaccine will now suffice, saving baby (and everyone else) 6 shots. This should make it easier to get baby immunized fully.

Personal Comment: We remember the old outbreaks of polio all too well. It is one of the diseases we do not want to see again. Baby shots make good sense!

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors,


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the approval of a new combination vaccine that protects infants against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, and disease due to the Hepatitis B virus. The vaccine will be marketed as Pediarix™ by SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals.

Pediarix™ is the only vaccine marketed in the U.S. that contains DTaP (Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed), Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombinant], and Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV) for administration as one intramuscular injection. The specific DTaP (Infanrix) and Hepatitis B (Engerix-B) components used in Pediarix were previously licensed in the U.S.

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