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Diphtheria Tetanus And Pertussis Vaccine


The diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine

includes DTaP, Tdap, and Td. The vaccine is given as an injection to protect you from diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Diphtheria is a severe bacterial infection that causes a thick covering in the back of your mouth and throat. It spreads from person to person. Tetanus is a severe infection caused by bacteria found in dirt, manure, and dust. The bacteria enter the body through open skin, such as cuts and wounds. Tetanus may cause painful muscle spasms and lockjaw. Pertussis (whooping cough) causes periods of rapid coughing with no break. This makes it hard to eat, drink, or breathe. Pertussis spreads from person to person.

Who should get the DTaP vaccine:

The DTaP vaccine is only given to children younger than 7 years. Children usually get 5 doses of the DTaP vaccine between 6 weeks and 6 years:

  • The first dose at 2 months
  • The second dose at 4 months
  • The third dose at 6 months
  • The fourth dose at 15 to 18 months
  • The fifth dose at 4 to 6 years

If your child misses a scheduled dose of the DTaP vaccine,

the next dose should be given as soon as possible. There is no need to give extra doses or start the entire series of the vaccine over.

Who should get the Tdap vaccine:

  • Children 7 to 10 years should get 1 dose of the Tdap vaccine if they have not been fully vaccinated with DTaP.
  • Adolescents 11 to 12 years usually get 1 dose of the Tdap vaccine. Your child should get 1 dose of the Tdap vaccine between ages 11 and 18 if:
    • He received the DTaP shots as a young child and has not had a Td booster.
    • He never had a Tdap shot.
    • She is pregnant and has not received the Tdap vaccine. A Tdap shot should be given at 27 to 36 weeks of pregnancy. The shot can also be given immediately after she gives birth.
  • Adults should receive 1 dose of Tdap. You should get the vaccine if:
    • Your vaccine history is incomplete.
    • You completed the DTaP series but have not had a Td booster.
    • You are a healthcare worker.
    • You have close contact with a baby younger than 12 months old. The Tdap vaccine may be given within 2 weeks of the close contact.
    • You have a severe cut or burn.
    • You are 27 to 36 weeks along in your pregnancy.
    • You have just had a baby.

Who should get the Td vaccine:

The Td vaccine is a booster shot that may be given to adolescents and adults every 10 years. The following are also reasons the booster shot may be given:

  • You have an open wound and it has been at least 5 years since your last Td vaccine.
  • You are pregnant and have received 1 dose of the Tdap vaccine.

If the vaccine history is not known:

Adults and children 7 years or older should receive a series of 3 shots. The series is 1 Tdap shot and 2 Td shots. The second shot should be given at least 4 weeks after the first. The third shot should be given at least 6 months after the second.

Who should not get the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine:

Do not get the vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine in the past. Do not get it if you developed encephalopathy within 7 days of your last dose. If you are allergic to latex, ask your healthcare provider if you should get the vaccine.

Who should wait to get the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine:

Wait to get the vaccine or tell your healthcare provider if:

  • You are sick or have a fever.
  • Your child cried for more than 3 hours within the first 2 days of getting the vaccine in the past.
  • Your child developed a high fever within 2 days after getting the vaccine in the past.
  • Your child had seizures within 3 days of getting the vaccine in the past.
  • You had low blood pressure or fainted within 2 days of getting the vaccine in the past.
  • You have a brain disorder, epilepsy, or muscle spasms that are not controlled with medicine.
  • You or your child developed Guillain-Barré syndrome within 6 weeks of getting a tetanus vaccine.
  • You or your child had an Arthus allergic reaction after you received any diphtheria or tetanus vaccine. If you had this reaction, you should get the vaccine no more than every 10 years.

Risks of the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine:

The area where the vaccine was given may be red, tender, or swollen. You may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This can be life-threatening.

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your mouth and throat are swollen.
  • You are wheezing or have trouble breathing.
  • You have chest pain or your heart is beating faster than usual.
  • You feel like you are going to faint.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your face is red or swollen.
  • You have hives that spread over your body.
  • You feel weak or dizzy.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have a headache, body aches, or joint pain.
  • You have nausea or diarrhea, or you are vomiting.
  • You have increased pain, redness, or swelling around the area where the shot was given.
  • You have questions or concerns about the vaccine.

Apply a warm compress

to the injection area as directed to decrease pain and swelling.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.