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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: August 6, 2021

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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.

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.

Talk with your health care provider

Tell your vaccination provider if the person getting the vaccine:

In some cases, your child's health care provider may decide to postpone DTaP vaccination until 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 vaccine.

Your child's health care provider can give you more information.

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.

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 health care provider.

Adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your health care 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 members do not give medical advice

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. Claims regarding alleged injury or death due to vaccination have a time limit for filing, which may be as short as two years. Visit the VICP website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation or call 1-800-338-2382 to learn about the program and about filing a claim.

How can I learn more?

Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

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 August 6, 2021. Accessed August 12, 2021.

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Review Date: 8/6/2021  

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

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