INFANRIX®-IPV is a vaccine used in infants from 6 weeks of age and over to prevent four diseases, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and poliomyelitis (polio). The vaccine works by causing the body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against these diseases.
Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis are all serious life-threatening diseases caused by bacterial infection. Poliomyelitis is an infectious disease caused by viral infection.
Diphtheria mainly affects the airways and sometimes the skin. Generally the airways become inflamed (swollen) causing severe breathing difficulties and sometimes suffocation. The bacteria also release a toxin (poison), which can cause nerve damage, heart problems, and death. The risk of serious complications and death is greater in the very young and elderly.
Tetanus bacteria enter the body through wounded skin. Wounds that are especially prone to infection are burns, fractures, deep wounds or wounds contaminated with soil, dust, horse manure or wood splinters. The bacteria release a toxin (poison), which can cause muscle stiffness, painful muscle spasms, fits and death. The spasms can be strong enough to cause bone fractures of the spine. The death rate is 30-40% of cases.
Pertussis is a highly infectious illness. The disease affects the breathing tract causing severe spells of coughing that may interfere with normal breathing. The coughing is often accompanied by a ‘whooping’ sound. The cough may last for 1-2 months or longer. Pertussis can also cause inner ear infections, long-lasting bronchitis, pneumonia, fits, brain damage and death. The risk of severe complications and death is greatest in infants under 6 months of age. The death rate is 0.5% for infants under 6 months of age.
Polio is a viral infection that can have variable effects. Often it causes only a mild illness but in some people it causes permanent injury or death.
In its severest form, polio infection causes paralysis of the muscles, including those needed for breathing and walking. Polio infection can leave a person unable to breathe without the help of an iron lung machine, unable to walk without leg braces, or confined to a wheel chair. The limbs affected by the disease may be painfully deformed.
Vaccination is the best way to protect against these diseases. INFANRIX®-IPV vaccine cannot give your child diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis or polio infection. The vaccine will not protect against diseases caused by other types of bacteria, viruses or organisms.