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DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) vaccine - what you need to know

All content below is taken in its entirety from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) DTaP vaccine information statement (VIS) -- www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/dtap.html.

Page last updated: April 1, 2020

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1. Why get vaccinated?

DTaP vaccine can prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.

Diphtheria and pertussis spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds.

2. DtaP vaccine

DTaP is only for children younger than 7 years old. Different vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap and Td) are available for older children, adolescents, and adults.

It is recommended that children receive 5 doses of DTaP, usually at the following ages:

DTaP may be given as a stand-alone vaccine, or as part of a combination vaccine (a type of vaccine that combines more than one vaccine together into one shot).

DTaP may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

3. Talk with your health care provider

Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:

In some cases, your child's health care provider may decide to postpone DTaP vaccination to a future visit.

Children with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. Children who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting DTaP.

Your child's provider can give you more information.

4. Risks of a vaccine reaction

As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.

5. What if there is a serious problem?

An allergic reaction could occur after the vaccinated person leaves the clinic. If you see signs of a severe allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness), call 9-1-1 and get the person to the nearest hospital.

For other signs that concern you, call your child's provider.

Adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your provider will usually file this report, or you can do it yourself. Visit the VAERS website at vaers.hhs.gov or call 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions, and VAERS staff do not give medical advice

6. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines. Visit the VICP website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccine-compensation/index.html or call 1-800-338-2382 to learn about the program and about filing a claim. There is a time limit to file a claim for compensation.

7. How can I learn more?

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Vaccine information statements (VISs) DTaP (Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine - what you need to know. www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/dtap.html. Updated April 1, 2020. Accessed April 2, 2020.

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Review Date: 4/2/2020  

Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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