DPT Vaccines - Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccines

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 7, 2022, 10:18

DPT stands for Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis. They are three significantly dangerous bacterial infectious diseases, and DPT Vaccines offer immunity against them. Out of the three diseases, diphtheria has a higher fatality rate. The vaccine has been used since the early 1940s. It is utilised to provide children up to 7 years with active immunization against those infectious diseases.

DPT Vaccines - Overview

In some of the modern DPT Vaccines, the dosage of diphtheria is decreased, and pertussis antigen is modified to make the vaccines suitable as booster doses for adults and adolescents. Diphtheria and Pertussis are communicable diseases; they are transferred from one person to another. Tetanus is a non-communicable disease as it entrees our body through wounds and cuts.

DPT Vaccines are an essential vaccine that should be administered to children unless they exhibit severe side effects. Consult your local paediatrician before getting the DPT Vaccines.

Side effects of DPT Vaccines

The side effects of DPT Vaccines are divided into three categories-

Mild Problems

  • Redness or swelling
  • Tenderness, itching, pain, rash, hives, or soreness at the site of injection
  • Tiredness
  • Poor appetite
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Irritability or fuzziness

Generally, mild problems occur between 1 and 3 days after the injection.

Moderate problems

  • Non-stop crying for at least three hours or more• Seizure
  • Significantly high fever

Severe problems

  • It includes severe allergic reactions
  • Convulsions

Moderate problems are uncommon, whereas severe problems occur very rarely.

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Dosages of the DPT Vaccines

All unprotected children under the age of seven years must get DPT Vaccines. The vaccine is given in five dosages. The first dosage should be given at six weeks, the second dosage ten weeks later, and the third dosage after 14 weeks. The first booster shot should be given between 16 to 18th months. The second shot should be given after five years. It is crucial to stick to the schedule while getting children vaccinated.

DPT Vaccines During Illness

It is tricky to administer DPT Vaccines to children suffering from various illnesses. Here are a few precautions you can take

  • Children who have minor sicknesses like cold can be vaccinated, but children who are severely or moderately ill should wait until they are healthy and fully recovered.
  • A child who has a temperature above 105°C after 48 hours of the first DPT Vaccines dose should not get another dose of Pertussis-containing vaccine.
  • A child who suffered convulsions in the first three days after the initial dose of DPT Vaccines should not get another dose of the Pertussis-containing vaccine.
  • A child who had a severe allergic reaction after the initial dose of the DPT Vaccines should not get another dose.
  • A child crying continuously for more than three hours during the first two days after the DPT Vaccines shot should not get another dose of the Pertussis-containing vaccine.
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FAQs on DPT Vaccines

Q.1. Can the DPT Vaccines be used by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers?

It is significantly unlikely for pregnant or breastfeeding women to use DPT Vaccines. There is usually no requirement for them to use it.

Q.2. In the context of DPT Vaccines, why are booster doses necessary?

Booster shots are critical for enhancing the protection level by 80%. They are given after three successful doses of DPT Vaccines.

Q.3. When speaking of DPT Vaccines, what is tetanus also known as?

Tetanus is also referred to as lockjaw. It affects the central nervous system making it difficult for the body to perform motor functions to perform and it causes painful muscle contractions.

Q.4. At what age DPT Vaccine is given?

DPT Vaccine is recommended at 11-12 years of age and then every 10 years