Infanrix (hexa) is a combination vaccine that is used to protect against six different infectious diseases at the same time. This is usually used with children in order to protect them from the diseases as part of the so-called basic immunization.

Due to the combined composition, only one syringe needs to be administered per vaccination appointment. There is also a vaccine called Infanrix DTPa, which is only used to protect against three diseases.

Active ingredient

The Infanrix hexa vaccine contains various active ingredients that are used to build up the body's own protection against six different dangerous infectious diseases. Some of these are weakened pathogens or their components. These cannot trigger any disease, but are sufficient to stimulate the immune system to form protective cells and antibodies (special protein particles to ward off diseases) so that the pathogens can also be fended off.

Three of the active ingredients are inactivated forms of the toxins that are formed by the pathogens. Here too, protection against these toxins is achieved by stimulating the immune system. The vaccine Infanrix DTPa contains only the last three active ingredients and accordingly only protects against the respective diseases (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis = whooping cough).

Which diseases are vaccinated against?

Infanrix hexa protects against six different infectious diseases, some of which can lead to lifelong damage or even death to the child. These include, on the one hand, the diphtheria caused by bacteria, which can lead to swelling of the airways and even to suffocation. In addition, an illness can damage the heart and nerves.

Another component of the vaccination protects against tetanus (tetanus). If there is no vaccination protection, tetanus pathogens can enter the body through wounds or scratches and cause painful muscle cramps, which can also be fatal.

Another component of Infanrix is ​​protection against whooping cough (pertussis). The disease causes severe coughing fits that can last for months. Pneumonia, seizures and brain damage are possible complications. Ultimately, a fatal outcome is also possible with whooping cough.

The vaccination also makes hepatitis B immune to virus-borne liver inflammation. In the worst case, the long-term consequences of an infection with the virus would be liver failure or liver cancer.

The next important part of vaccination is protection against polio. The disease can lead to paralysis and also death if the respiratory muscles are affected.

Finally, Infanrix hexa protects against an outbreak of disease caused by the bacterium Haemophilus Influenza. The pathogen can cause a large number of infections with sometimes serious consequences. These include meningitis, which can lead to mental damage, and an infection of the epiglottis, which can lead to death by suffocation. Furthermore, the blood, heart, lungs and bones can be affected by inflammation.

In contrast to Infanrix hexa, the vaccine Infanrix DTPa only protects against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

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How does vaccination with Infanrix work?

After two months of age, babies should have their first vaccination with Infanrix hexa at the pediatrician or family doctor. The vaccination itself is done with a syringe that has to be injected into a muscle of the child. The thigh is usually used for this up to the age of 18 months. In older children, the vaccine is given by injection into the upper arm.

In exceptional cases, if a child has bleeding disorders, the agent should be injected under the skin. After the vaccination, the doctor will document this in the child's vaccination book and inform you about the next necessary vaccinations.

How often do you have to vaccinate?

When vaccinating with Infanrix, a so-called basic immunization is first carried out with either two or three syringes. There must be an interval of at least one month between the individual injections. A one-time booster is necessary six months after the last vaccination at the earliest. Your doctor will inform you of the appropriate appointments.

What does the vaccination cost?

The costs for a vaccination with Infanrix are fully covered by both statutory and private health insurance companies. The price for a vaccination dose is around € 80. An additional payment is not necessary.

Who pays the costs?

Vaccination with Infanrix includes vaccinations that are publicly recommended by the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). These are covered by both statutory and private health insurances. Only vaccinations not recommended by the STIKO have to be taken over by yourself.

Side effects of vaccination

With each vaccination, the body's own immune system is stimulated to produce defense cells and antibodies. With this activation of the immune system it is quite normal that some symptoms appear temporarily as a side effect. In addition to swelling and reddening at the point where the vaccination was given, this includes a slight fever, loss of appetite, restlessness and fatigue.

Unusual crying is common in babies and young children. Diarrhea or vomiting can also occur. Occasionally, the arm or leg that was vaccinated may swell. In rare cases, a rash occurs.

Side effects such as seizures or inflammation of the skin are very rare. If there are pronounced side effects or if the child appears listless or has a fever above 39 ° C, a doctor should be consulted at an early stage.

Read more on the topic: Fever after vaccination

When does the vaccination need to be refreshed?

The booster vaccination after a primary vaccination of infants with Infanrix hexa takes place after six months at the earliest. The optimal time for the booster depends on whether you have previously been vaccinated twice or three times with Infanrix. In the case of a double vaccination, it is best to do this before the age of 18 months. In the case of triples, it should preferably be between 11 and 13Month of life to be refreshed. The pediatrician or family doctor will tell you when the booster should take place.

Are there alternatives?

In most cases, vaccination with Infanrix provides reliable protection against serious illnesses from which many children used to have long-term consequences or even died. There is no alternative to vaccination to reliably protect the children. You can only vaccinate against the diseases individually instead of the six-fold vaccine, but this usually has no advantage.

Refusing your child a vaccination exposes them to life-threatening danger. In addition, newborns who cannot yet be vaccinated are dependent on all older children and adults in the population being vaccinated so that no transmission of the germs is possible. If you don't have your children vaccinated, you also harm other children and other unprotected people.

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Further information

Further information on the subject can be found on the following pages:

  • vaccination
  • Vaccinations in the baby
  • Fever after vaccination
  • Should I get my baby vaccinated?
  • Side effects from vaccinations in the baby