Diseases Home > Serious Problems With DTaP

More Serious Problems
More serious problems can occur with DTaP vaccine. These problems, however, occur rarely. Some more serious problems that can occur with the vaccine include:
  • Seizure (jerking or staring, affecting about 1 child out of 14,000)
  • Nonstop crying, for three hours or more (up to about 1 child out of 1,000)
  • High fever, over 105°F (about 1 child out of 16,000).
Controlling fever is especially important for children who have had seizures, for any reason. It is also important if another family member has had a history of seizures. You can reduce fever and pain by giving your child an aspirin-free pain reliever when the shot is given, and for the next 24 hours, following the package instructions.
Serious Problems
Serious problems can occur with this vaccine. These problems are extremely rare. In fact, they occur so rarely that it is hard to tell if they are caused by the vaccine. Possible serious problems can include:
  • Serious allergic reaction (less than one out of a million doses)
  • Long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness
  • Permanent brain damage.
Serious allergic reactions are extremely rare with any vaccine. If one were to occur, it would most likely be within a few minutes to a few hours after the injection. Signs can include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness or wheezing
  • Hives
  • Paleness
  • Weakness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness.
If a high fever or seizure were to occur, it would usually be within a week after the injection.
If any of these serious problems do occur, call a doctor or get the patient to a doctor immediately. Tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the DTaP vaccination was given.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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