Pentacel is given as four separate doses (0.5 mL injected into a muscle each time). Although these dosing guidelines are standard, there is some flexibility in the vaccination schedule. Ideally, the dosages are given at 2, 4, 6, and 15 to 18 months of age. However, the first dose can be given as early as six weeks of age.
Pentacel Dosage: An Introduction
There is only one standard dosage for Pentacel® (DTaP, inactivated polio vaccine, and Hib vaccine), although there may be some variability in the exact vaccination schedule.
Ideal Dosing Schedule for Pentacel
The ideal, standard Pentacel dosage is four injections (each 0.5 mL injected into a muscle) given at 2, 4, 6, and 15 to 18 months of age. The first dose could be given as early as six weeks of age, if desired.
Other Pentacel Vaccine Schedules
Your child's healthcare provider may recommend a slightly different vaccination schedule, particularly if your child has already had one or more dosages of any of the individual components of Pentacel. This prevents giving too many doses of any of the individual components.
The Pentacel vaccine has been used "off-label" during Hib vaccine shortages in order to provide the Hib vaccine to children who did not yet need another polio or DTaP vaccine.
If you choose a delayed vaccination schedule (or your child's vaccines are interrupted for any reason), there is no reason to "start over," regardless of how much time has elapsed. Pentacel can be used to "catch up" children as old as four years of age.