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Diphtheria Vaccination

Photo of a pediatrician examining a baby

There are four combination vaccines used to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis: DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td. Two of these (DTaP and DT) are given to children younger than 7 years of age, and two (Tdap and Td) are given to older children and adults.

Upper-case letters in these abbreviations denote full-strength doses of diphtheria (D) and tetanus (T) toxoids and pertussis (P) vaccine. Lower-case "d" and "p" denote reduced doses of diphtheria and pertussis used in the adolescent/adult-formulations. The "a" in DTaP and Tdap stands for "acellular," meaning that the pertussis component contains only a part of the pertussis organism.

What You Need to Know about the Diphtheria Vaccine

Diphtheria Vaccine Resources for Health Care Professionals

Related Pages

  • Diphtheria for Parents: The Basics
    Describes symptoms of infection as well as benefits and risks of vaccination.
    English [400 KB, 2 pages]   |   Spanish [170 KB, 2 pages]
  • Diphtheria for Parents: In Depth
    Offers information about recent diphtheria outbreaks. Describes symptoms of infection, benefits and risks of vaccination, details about the vaccine, and history of the disease.
    English [578 KB, 2 pages]

 

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