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Dpt Immunization

Dpt Immunization

Alternate Names

  • diphtheria, tetanus toxoid, and pertussis vaccine
  • DPT vaccine
  • DTP vaccine

Definition

A DTaP immunization is a combined vaccine to protect against three diseases.

Who is a candidate for the procedure?

The DTaP vaccine is a shot that is given in the thigh or arm.
A child needs four DTaP shots for full protection. The first shot should be given at 2 months of age. The second and third shots are given within the child's first year. The fourth shot is given at least 6 months after the third shot. Most children get the fourth shot at about age 15 to 18 months.
At school entry (age 4 to 6) a booster dose of DTaP is needed.
Recently, a formulation for adolescents and adults (called Tdap) was approved for use. A dose of Tdap should be given at about the time of the preadolescent visit (age 11-12).
Currently, Tdap is recommended to replace the traditional "tetanus shot" (Td booster) for adults under 64 who have not received Tdap previously. Thus, protection against all three diseases extends across most of the life span if the Tdap is given every ten years.

How is the procedure performed?

The DPT vaccine is a shot that is given in the thigh or arm. A child needs five DPT shots for full protection. The first shot should be given at 2 months of age. The second and third shots are given within the child's first year. The fourth shot is given at least 6 months after the third shot. Most children get the fourth shot at about age 15 to 18 months. The fifth shot, or booster, is given when the child is about to enter school. In most states, a child must have another DPT vaccine before starting school, at about age 4 to 6. A shot of Td vaccine, which is the adult version, should be given about 5 years later at age 14 to 16. Additional booster shots are advised every 10 years after that for life.

Sources

Emergency Pediatrics: A Guide to Ambulatory Care, 1994, Barkin and Rosen

The Family Practice Desk Reference, 1996, Driscoll et al

DPT Immunization, 1999, Adam Medical Encyclopedia, National Library of Medicine [hyperLink url="http://medlineplus.adam.com/ency/article/002021.htm" linkTitle="medlineplus.adam.com/ency/article/002021.htm"]medlineplus.adam.com/ency/article/002021.htm[/hyperLink]

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