Painful versus Painless Vaccinations: Facts


Vaccines are essential for your child. It helps them fight many harmful diseases. Without vaccination you child can be under some serious threats. However, all vaccines are not similar. Depending on the type of administration vaccines can be either painless or painful. But they are not as simple as it sounds. Even injections for painless vaccines will hurt your child. However, there are certain differences between these two kinds of vaccines.

The term painless vaccination is connected with the concept of DTP vaccines. DTP vaccines are a special kind of vaccines which are given to your child for the prevention of diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis). It is a sub-unit of vaccine which contains only a part of the bacteria called the pertussis. On the other hand, the painful vaccine contains the inactive whole cell of the pertussis bacteria. This is main difference between a painless and a painful vaccine.

However, the side effects of such vaccines are different. It can impact your child in various forms.

Painful versus Painless Vaccinations: Facts

Why Painless Vaccines?

Pain is certainly one of the major factors under consideration for all vaccines. But painless vaccines are not the ultimate solution. You need to consider a lot of things before deciding to give your child a painless vaccination. According to experts, the pain factor should not be the only decisive element. There are other things you must consider whilst choosing vaccines for your child.

There are certain oral vaccines like in the form of cholera, typhoid and rotavirus which are actually painless. Otherwise most of the other vaccines are given in a traditional manner by means of injection syringes. As a parent you must not only focus on your child’s temporary discomfort but also the long term impacts of such painless vaccines. In this article we will discuss the actual differences between painless and painful vaccines.

Painful versus Painless Vaccinations


Content of the Vaccine  

Painless vaccines normally come in acellular form. That means that it contains a part of the bacteria which impacts your child’s immunity. On the other hand the painful vaccine contains an entire cell. Both of these vaccines can be administered. Sometimes a combination can also be given.


The only positive consequence of a painless vaccine is that it causes much less side effects. The common side effects include high fever and irritation amongst kids. Thus painless vaccines keep the child much more calm and comfortable. There are almost no side effects after taking the vaccine. However, one must remember that painless vaccines do not guarantee a painless injection. The initial discomfiture and pain of the injection still remains in painless vaccines.


Conventional painful vaccines cause redness and swelling in the area of the injection. This is a common drawback of this kind of vaccines. On the other hand the painless vaccines ensure that there are no pains and swellings on the affected area.

Initial Sensitization

The initial sensitization caused by the painful vaccinations is much more effective and also better in terms of antibody production. The antibodies produced in your child will ensure long-term protection of your child, from all the diseases. So before taking the decision of giving your child a painless vaccine, consult with your doctor about the feasible side effects. Also you must talk about the overall effectiveness of the vaccines. At the end of the day the vaccines are given to protect your child from the life-threatening diseases. Overlooking the long-term benefits in return of a hassle-free vaccination process, is not always a wise decision.

Threat of Transmission

Painless vaccines do tend to make your child immune to the diseases. However, he/she can still transmit the disease to other unvaccinated children. This is another major drawback of painless vaccination. The bacteria tend to enter the airways of the vaccinated child and stay there for a long time.

Questions about Effectiveness

Some latest research suggests that painless vaccines are not much effective in terms of providing immunity to an infant. There are many doctors who suggest avoiding the DTaP painless vaccines due to this reason. It is always better to undergo the initial pains and troubles in order to determine a disease-free future for your child.



Any day the painless vaccines are much costlier than the painful counterparts. So if you have serious budget constraints then you must not look for the option of giving painless vaccines to your child.

Who Should Ideally Take Painless Vaccines?

The painless vaccines are designed specifically for children who have the habit of suffering from convulsion. If the risk of going in on a fit or getting convulsed is there, then painless vaccinations should be mandatory used. It is due to the fact that the painful DTwP vaccines will tend to make them cry and convulse. This will pose much serious threats.

Have a detailed discussion with your child’s pediatrician before deciding on the kind of vaccines your child must take. Till date, research suggests that painful vaccinations are much more effective and much less expensive when compared to the painless counterparts.