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Home > Living Well > Health Library > DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) Vaccine: What You Need to Know
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 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.
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.
As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.
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 www.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 (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.
Vaccine Information Statement
DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) Vaccine
42 U.S.C. § 300aa-26
Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Many vaccine information statements are available in Spanish and other languages. See www.immunize.org/vis
Hojas de información sobre vacunas están disponibles en español y en muchos otros idiomas. Visite www.immunize.org/vis
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