Diphtheria Tetanus and Pertussis
Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis are serious diseases caused by bacteria.
Diphtheria and Pertusis spread from person to person and Tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds.
DIPHTHERIA causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and even death.
TETANUS (Lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in up to 2 out of 10 cases.
PERTUSSIS (Whooping Cough) causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink or breathe. These spells can last for weeks. It can lead to pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staringspells), brain damage and death.
DPT vaccination is started at the age of 6-8 weeks. A total of 5 doses of DTP vaccine are administered to children at 6,10,14 weeks, 15 months, 4-5 years & 10 years.
DTap(painless) verses DTwP(normal) Vaccine
DPT vaccine is available in two variants ie DTwp or the Whole Cell vaccine(normal DPT) and DTap or the Acellular(Painless) pertusis vaccine.
In 2014, a study showed that children who received DTwP in First 3 doses have less chances of developing Pertusis when they are adolescents. For this reason, in 2014 guidelines favored use of DTwP vaccine over DTaP. Though DTaP causes much less pain, redness and fever as compared to DTwP vaccine. However, in further studies, by 2018 it was seen, that this difference is more relevant in countries where routine boosters of DPT are not given in School Children. But in India, our vaccine schedules have DPT at Ages 1.5 yrs, then 4-6 hrs and then age 10 plus and so boosters for pertusis are anyways given.
Local Pain, redness, swelling and fever and irritability for 1-2 days.These effects are less with DTaP vaccine. A small pea-size nodule formation is seen at the injection site, more with DTwP vaccine, which takes months to disappear.
If your child has received any DPT dose in past 10 yrs then you do not need to give a Tetanus (TT) booster vaccine after every day to day injury. Giving repeated TT doses can rather be harmful for the immunity of the body.