DTaP immunizations are given as a series of five injections, usually administered at ages:
After the initial series of immunizations, a vaccine called Tdap (the booster shot) should be given at ages 11 to 12, or to older teens and adults who haven't yet received a booster with pertussis coverage. Then, Td (tetanus and diphtheria) boosters are recommended every 10 years. Pregnant women should also get the Tdap vaccine in the second half of each pregnancy, even if they've been vaccinated in the past.
Use of the DTaP vaccine has virtually eliminated diphtheria and tetanus in childhood and has markedly reduced the number of pertussis cases.
The vaccine frequently causes mild side effects: fever; mild crankiness; tiredness; loss of appetite; and tenderness, redness, or swelling in the area where the shot was given.
Rarely, a child may have a seizure or cry uncontrollably after getting the vaccine. But these sorts of side effects are so rare that researchers question whether they're even caused by the vaccine. Most kids have a few minor or no side effects.
Your doctor might decide to just give a partial vaccine or no vaccine, or may determine that the benefits of vaccinating your child outweigh the potential risks.
Your child may experience fever, soreness, and some swelling and redness in the area where the shot was given. Depending on your child's age, pain and fever may be treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either medication, and to find out the appropriate dose.
A warm, damp cloth or a heating pad also can help reduce soreness. Moving or using the limb that has received the injection often reduces the soreness.
Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: February 2015
|CDC: Vaccines & Immunizations The CDC's site has information on vaccines, including immunization schedules, recommendations, FAQs, and more.|
|Immunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.|
|CDC: Preteen and Teen Vaccines CDC site provides materials in English and Spanish for parents, teens, preteens, and health care providers about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.|
|The History of Vaccines The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.|
|Word! Vaccine A vaccine is another word for what most kids call a shot.|
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|Diphtheria Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that's rare in the United States, where health officials immunize kids against it. But it's still common in developing countries where immunizations aren't given routinely.|
|Tetanus Tetanus (also called lockjaw) is a preventable disease that affects the muscles and nerves, usually due to a contaminated wound.|
|Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Pertussis is characterized by severe coughing spells that end in a whooping sound when the person breathes in. It can be prevented with the pertussis vaccine, part of the DTaP immunization.|
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|Tetanus Tetanus occurs when a certain type of bacterial infection grows in a contaminated wound. Because it can be serious, it's important to get immunized. Find out about tetanus and how to protect yourself against it.|
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|Your Child's Immunizations Immunizations protect your child from potentially fatal diseases. Find out what vaccines your child needs to grow up healthy.|
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