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Understanding DTaP

The DTaP vaccine can help prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Most children who are vaccinated with DTaP as well as the Tdap booster will be protected throughout childhood. Many more children would get these diseases if we stopped vaccinating.
 
DTaP is a safer version of an older vaccine called DTP. DTP is no longer used in the United States.
 

Vaccine Schedule

Children should get five doses of the DTaP vaccine, one dose at each of the following ages:
 
  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 15 to 18 months
  • Four to six years.
     
DTaP may be given at the same time as other vaccines. It is very important that DTaP be given on schedule. It is also recommended that adolescents get a booster at 11 to 12 years of age. The Tdap vaccine (Adacel®, Boostrix®) is used for this purpose. The lowercase letters in the Tdap indicate that this vaccine has a reduced dosage of the diphtheria and pertussis components, compared with the DTaP.
 

Precautions

Children with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. However, children who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting DTaP vaccine.
 
Any child who had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of DTaP should not get another dose.
 
Talk with your doctor if your child:
 
  • Had a seizure or collapsed after a dose of DTaP
  • Cried nonstop for three hours or more after a dose of DTaP
  • Had a fever over 105°F after a dose of DTaP.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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