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  • Vaccine injections performed in childhood can be a significant source of distress for children, their parents and health-care professionals.
  • Untreated vaccine injection pain can have long-term consequences, including; anxiety before the vaccination, hyperalgesia, meaning an increased sensitivity to pain, needle fears and health care avoidance.
  • Simple, inexpensive and widely available pain-relieving strategies exist to reduce vaccine injection pain. Pain-relieving strategies can be easily implemented in any clinical setting.
  • Effective pain management during immunization uses a “3-P” approach: Physical, Psychological and Pharmacological strategies. Combining strategies improves pain relief.
  • Physical strategies: sitting up instead of lying down during procedures and rubbing or applying pressure near the site of injection before and during the needle poke.

  •  Psychological strategies: deep breathing, distraction by listening to music, watching videos or playing with toys.

  • Pharmacological strategies: numbing by local anesthetic, sugar water or breastfeeding for infants.

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