PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What should you know about DTaP and Tdap vaccines?

ANSWER

DTaP is a vaccine that helps children younger than age 7 develop immunity to three deadly diseases caused by bacteria: diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis). Tdap is a booster immunization given at age 11 that offers continued protection from those diseases for adolescents and adults.

Diphtheria is a respiratory disease that can cause breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and death. It's highly contagious and is spread by coughing and sneezing.

Tetanus, or lockjaw, is caused by a bacterium often found in soil. Once it enters the body it releases a toxin that attacks the nervous system, causing muscle spasms and death if left untreated.

Pertussis is also highly contagious. It causes coughing spasms so severe that it makes it difficult for infants to eat, drink, or even breathe. It can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death.

Before the vaccines were developed, these diseases were rampant. Vaccines protect the community by preventing the spread of disease from one person to the next, which even offers some protection to the unvaccinated. If people stopped getting vaccinated, the incidence of these three diseases would rapidly rise and thousands would get sick and perhaps even die.

From: DTaP and Tdap Vaccines WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: , published online Feb. 1, 2011.

Pediatrics

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: "A Look at Each Vaccine: Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Vaccines."

Immunization Action Coalition: "Ask the Expert: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis."

CDC: "Vaccines and Preventable Diseases: Diphtheria Vaccination;" "Diphtheria Tetanus & Pertussis Vaccines: What You Need to Know;" "How Vaccines Prevent Disease;""Common Questions Parents Ask about Infant Immunization;" and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on April 18, 2019

SOURCES: , published online Feb. 1, 2011.

Pediatrics

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: "A Look at Each Vaccine: Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Vaccines."

Immunization Action Coalition: "Ask the Expert: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis."

CDC: "Vaccines and Preventable Diseases: Diphtheria Vaccination;" "Diphtheria Tetanus & Pertussis Vaccines: What You Need to Know;" "How Vaccines Prevent Disease;""Common Questions Parents Ask about Infant Immunization;" and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on April 18, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What is the difference between DTaP and Tdap vaccines?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: