Munson Health
 
Diphtheria Vaccine

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by Barrett A

(DTaP Vaccine-Diptheria; Tdap Vaccine-Diptheria)

 

What Is Diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a highly contagious infection. It can be life-threatening. It is caused by specific bacteria. The germ produces a toxin that can spread from the site of infection to other tissues in the body. Diphtheria usually affects the throat and nose. In serious cases, it may affect the nervous system and heart.
Diphtheria spreads easily from person to person by coughing or sneezing. People nearby breathe in the infected droplets. In rare cases, they come into direct contact with elements from an infected person’s mouth, nose, throat, or skin.
Because of a widespread immunization program, diphtheria is now rare in the United States.
 

What Is the Diphtheria Vaccine?

The diphtheria vaccine is an inactivated toxin called a toxoid. There are different types of the vaccines to prevent diphtheria, including:
The vaccine is injected into the muscle.
 

What Are the Risks Associated With the Diphtheria Vaccine?

As with any vaccine, there is a small risk of severe reaction, such as a severe allergic reaction. Most people get the vaccine without any problems. The most common reactions are mild.

DTaP

Mild reactions may include:
  • Fever
  • Soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site.
  • Fussiness in infants
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
More serious reactions include seizure, nonstop crying, fever over 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.6 degrees Celsius), allergic reaction.
Very rare reactions may include long-term seizures, brain damage, and coma.

Tdap

Mild reactions may include:
  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site.
  • Low-grade fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
More serious reactions include fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius), extensive swelling, severe pain, bleeding, and redness in the arm where the shot was given.

Td

Mild reactions may include:
  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site.
  • Low-grade fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
More serious reactions include fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius), extensive swelling, severe pain, bleeding, and redness in the arm where the shot was given
Acetaminophen is sometimes given to help prevent pain and fever that may occur after getting a vaccine. In infants, the medication may make the vaccine weak. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking acetaminophen. For children who have had a seizure in the past, controlling any fever may be important.
Acetaminophen is sometimes given to help prevent pain and fever that may occur after getting a vaccine. In infants, the medication may make the vaccine weak. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking acetaminophen. For children who have had a seizure in the past, controlling any fever may be important.
 


WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

Immunizations/Vaccines
American Academy of Pediatrics
http://www.healthychildren.org

Vaccines & Immunizations
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov

 

References


Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Recommended adult immunization schedule: United States, 2009. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150:40-44.


Diphtheria. KidsHealth.org website. Available at: http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial%5Fviral/diphtheria.html. Updated September 2011. Accessed June 5, 2013.


Diphtheria antitoxin. Centers for Disease Control and Protection National Immunization Program website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/diphtheria/dat.html. Updated May 13, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.


Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines: What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/dtap.html. Updated May 17, 2007. Accessed June 5, 2013.


Diphtheria vaccine. Immunization Action Coalition website. Available at: http://www.vaccineinformation.org/diphtheria/. Updated January 28, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.


Immunization schedules. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html. Updated January 29, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.


Tdap vaccine: What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/tdap.html. Updated May 9, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.


Td or Tdap vaccine: What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/td-tdap.html. Updated January 24, 2012. Accessed June 5, 2013.


10/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Prymula R, Siegrist C, Chlibek R, et al. Effect of prophylactic paracetamol administration at time of vaccination on febrile reactions and antibody responses in children: two open-label, randomised controlled trials. Lancet . 2009;374(9698):1339.


11/4/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Updated recommendations for use of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) in pregnant women and persons who have or anticipate having close contact with an infant aged <12 months—Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011;60:1424-1426.

 

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