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Notice to Readers Reinstatement of Regular Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine Schedule

The status of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine availability in the United States and interim recommendations of the U.S. Public Health Service Interagency Group to Monitor Vaccine Development, Production, and Usage were recently reported (1). This statement recommended postponement of administration of the DTP vaccine doses usually given at ages 18 months and 4-6 years (fourth and fifth doses) until greater supplies are available.

Since November 1984, Lederle Laboratories has been distributing its own DTP vaccine, as well as that manufactured by Wyeth Laboratories. By following the recommendation of the Interagency Group, the quantities distributed have been sufficient to reduce the threat of critical shortages. On April 25, Connaught Laboratories announced its resumption of full-scale distribution of DTP vaccine and the availability of 2.2 million doses for immediate shipment. Connaught Laboratories will continue to produce vaccine at a level that will help meet U.S. needs.

Projected production schedules for the manufacturers indicate that supplies of DTP vaccine should be adequate to provide the normally recommended fourth and fifth doses of DTP and to provide the needed catch-up doses for children who have had them deferred.

In view of these developments, after consultation with members of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee and Committee on Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Interagency Group now feels that the interim recommendations no longer apply. Immunization providers should resume administration of the complete DTP schedule and implement recall procedures for children under 7 years of age whose fourth (18 month) and fifth (4-6 years) doses were deferred. It is especially important to make every effort to provide DTP vaccine doses to such children scheduled to enter kindergarten or first grade in the fall.


  1. CDC. Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine shortage--United States. MMWR 1984;33:695-6.

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