Diphtheria Vaccination

Pronounced (dif-THEER-ee-a)

Vaccines are available that can help prevent diphtheria, an infection caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae bacteria. Four kinds of vaccines used today protect against diphtheria, all of which also protect against other diseases:

  • Diphtheria and tetanus (DT) vaccines
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccines
  • Tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccines
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccines

Babies and children younger than 7 years old receive DTaP or DT, while older children and adults receive Tdap and Td.

CDC recommends diphtheria vaccination for all babies and children, preteens and teens, and adults. Talk with your or your child’s healthcare professional if you have questions about diphtheria vaccines.

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What Everyone Should Know

Basic information for people interested in diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough vaccination…

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Information for Healthcare Professionals

Vaccine recommendations and contraindications; composition, immunogenicity, and efficacy; storage and handling; administration details…

Graphic depicting young children, preteens, and adults, all of which need diphtheria vaccines.

CDC recommends diphtheria vaccination for:

  • Babies and children
  • Preteens and teens
  • Adults

Page last reviewed: December 17, 2018