Pediarix is a routine childhood vaccine that provides protection against polio, hepatitis B, tetanus, pertussis, and diphtheria. The various components of this vaccine work by "tricking" the body into thinking it has been exposed to these different diseases. The vaccine is typically given as three injections with six to eight weeks between doses; the first dose is ideally given at two months of age.
(Click Pediarix Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Reformulation of the Vaccine
The currently available Pediarix vaccine is slightly different from the previous version. This new reformulated version now contains no thimerosal (a mercury-containing preservative) or other preservatives. Parents who are concerned about exposing their children to thimerosal can be confident that this vaccine has no thimerosal (not even trace amounts).
Some parents are concerned about aluminum content of vaccines; Pediarix contains no more than 0.85 mg of aluminum per dose. This vaccine is not made from human fetal components or animal components, as some vaccines are. However, it is made from bovine (cow) and monkey components.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Pediarix [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline;2010 August.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccine information statement: multiple vaccines (9/18/08). CDC Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-multi.pdf. Accessed August 5, 2009.
GlaxoSmithKline. RE: Reformulated vaccine formulations (February 2007). Childhood Immunization Support Program web site. Available at: http://www.cispimmunize.org/archives/GSKinfo0707.pdf. Accessed August 5, 2009.
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