Reducing pain at the time of vaccination: WHO position paper, September 2015-Recommendations

Vaccine. 2016 Jul 12;34(32):3629-30. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.11.005. Epub 2015 Nov 11.


This article presents the World Health Organization's (WHO) recommendations for pain mitigation at the time of vaccination from the WHO position paper on reducing pain at the time of vaccination: WHO position paper-September 2015, recently published in the Weekly Epidemiological Record [1]. This position paper summarizes the evidence and integrates information pertaining to the reduction of pain, distress and fear during immunization across all age groups. In accordance with its mandate to provide guidance to Member States on health policy matters, WHO issues a series of regularly updated position papers on vaccines and combinations of vaccines against diseases that have an international public health impact, and on vaccination-related policy questions particularly concerning the use of vaccines in large-scale immunization programmes. They summarize essential background information and conclude with the current WHO position. This position paper addresses a cross-cutting issue which is relevant for all injectable vaccines and reflects the recommendations of WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunization. These recommendations were discussed by SAGE at its April 2015 meeting. The evidence presented at the meetings can be accessed at

Keywords: Immunization; Pain; Pain mitigation; Pain reduction; Vaccination; WHO position.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Public Health
  • Vaccination / adverse effects*
  • World Health Organization