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Routine primary immunisation using a longer needle resulted in fewer local reactions in infants

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 QUESTION: When giving routine immunisations to infants, does needle length affect the incidence of local reactions?


Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded (outcome assessors),* controlled trial with follow up to 3 days.


8 general practices in Buckinghamshire, UK.


119 healthy infants attending routine immunisation clinics. Exclusion criteria were those applicable to children receiving primary immunisations. 92% of infants (58% boys) completed follow up.


58 infants were allocated to receive their third dose of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines (due at 16 wk) given with a 23 gauge, 25 mm (longer) blue hub needle; 61 were allocated to vaccine administration with a 25 gauge, 16 mm (shorter) orange hub …

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  • Source of funding: Smith and Nephew Foundation.

  • For correspondence: Ms L Diggle, Oxford Vaccine Group, University Department of Paediatrics, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK. Fax +44 (0)1865 221068.

  • A modified version of this abstract also appears in Evidence-Based Nursing.

  • * See glossary.