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Vaccine. 1999 Apr 9;17(15-16):2067-72.

Subcutaneous versus intramuscular injection for booster DT vaccination of adolescents.

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School Health Services, Goteborg, Sweden.


The importance of the injection technique in booster vaccination was investigated in an open randomized study with 252 10-year-old Swedish school-children receiving routine DT vaccination either by subcutaneous or by intramuscular route in the upper arm. The adolescents had previously been primed with DT vaccine at 3, 5 and 12 months of age. Adverse reactions, monitored for 2 weeks, showed the same low rates for systemic reactions in both groups, while the intramuscular administration gave significantly less redness (p < 0.001), swelling (p < 0.001), itching (p < 0.01) and pain (p < 0.05). These reactions were also of shorter duration (p < 0.01 to p < 0.001). Girls were found to have more pain and itching than boys (p < 0.001). No significant differences in antibody responses between the two administration routes were found in the 99 samples drawn 2 weeks after the booster. However, girls were found to have a lower response to diphtheria toxoid than boys (p = 0.009). Local reactions to a booster can thus be significantly reduced by choice of injection technique, which may be necessary if increased dosages and/or further valences are to be given to adolescents and adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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