Reaction to Pentacel (Dpt + Hib)

Hello. My daughter had a reaction to Pentacel one month ago.( I am fairly certain that no one reported it to VAERS) She fell asleep about an hour after her shot (the first one ever at 3 months) The shot went well, she did not even cry, and was fine until after she awoke about 4 hours later. She awoke SHRIEKING, like I have never before heard a baby cry. Her entire leg was VERY swollen…even her baby feet and toes were swollen, and her leg was bright red like a very bad sunborn. I called the Pediatrician’s office. They immediately transferred me to the oncall doc. They said to give her tylenol and a cold compress…..I am now VERY nervous about any repeat shots. The next day she seemed also to have neck control reduction…but maybe that was just me ? As a 13 year old I had to get a tetanus shot, and personally had a very bad reaction. Was out of school for a week with a high fever they could not get down, and was swollen all over. I later found out I am allergic to formyldreyhide from a work incident in college…. I know Pentacel has formaldreyhide….what would you advise? Repeating vax’s with no formelydreyhide, i.e. another brand, or single dose, or just skip them all together? I love my daughter very much, and want do do what is best for her. Her pediatrician, who I like in ALL other areas, says I can not come to his office anymore if I do not vax….I am not sure if he means it….?

Let me start by saying that I am not a medical professional, and cannot comment on this from a medical perspective.  I am a computer scientist who works with the U.S. Government’s VAERS online data.  I tried to look for this vaccine in VAERS and it does not seem to be there.  A look online suggests that this vaccine is offered in Canada, and therefore there may not be any information about it in VAERS.

One aspect of Pentacel that makes is sound dangerous (to me) is the fact that it is five vaccines in one.  My most recent monthly report (see suggests that vaccines should be administered one-at-a-time, or at least not batched together so heavily.

If you are inclined to avoid all future vaccines, then there is certainly a growing movement of people who will agree with your decision.

However, if you do not want to resist the medical system so heavily, and decide to continue vaccinations, then I would advise breaking-out the components of this vaccine for follow-ups so that you can isolate the offending part.  At the time of the next scheduled vaccine, ask for single innoculations of Diphtheria, followed a few weeks later by a single Tetanus, then a single Pertussis, then Haemophilus, then Polio.  If you cannot break the five parts into single doses, at least reduce the number of different vaccines as much as possible.

I would also recommend that you file this reaction to VAERS (they do collect some reports from outside of the US) and that you report this to the National Vaccine Information Center (

Good luck to you and your daughter.

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