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 Diphtheria Vaccines
- Diphtheria Vaccine Basics
- Who Should Not Get these Vaccines
- Possible Reactions to these Vaccines
- Vaccine Safety
Diphtheria Vaccine Resources for Health Care Professionals
- Diphtheria Vaccine Recommendations
- Provider Education
- Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
- Diphtheria for Parents: The Basics
Describes symptoms of infection as well as benefits and risks of vaccination.
English [2 pages] | Spanish [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 [2 pages]
- Page last reviewed: May 13, 2013
- Page last updated: May 13, 2013
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