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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

DTP Vaccine

Researched by Anthony
DPT or DTP stands for Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis. It is a mixture of three vaccines used to immunize against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus.

DTP vaccine may be distinguished as "DTwP" or "DTaP", with "wP" referring to "whole cell pertussis" and "aP" referring to "acellular pertussis". (The acellular form is considered safer and contains far fewer antigens than the older preparation.) Current versions of DTP in Europe do not contain preservatives; older ones contained Thiomersal. In the Netherlands, DTP refers to a mixture of diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis vaccines.

Childhood Immunization Schedule

VaccineMinimum Age for first doseMinimum interval from dose 1 to 2Minimum interval from dose 2 to 3Minimum interval from dose 3 to 4
DTP6 weeks4 weeks4 weeks6 months
DTaP*15 months--6 months

*DTaP can be used in place of the fourth (and fifth) dose of DTP for children who are at least 15 months of age. Children who have received all four primary vaccination doses before their fourth birthday should receive a fifth dose of DTP (DT) or DTaP at 4-6 years of age before entering kindergarten or elementary school and at least 6 months after the fourth dose. The total number of doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids should not exceed six each before the seventh birthday.

Source: http://lib-sh.lsuhsc.edu/fammed/intern/vaccmin.html

Side Effects

Adverse reactions associated with the use of DTP include local redness, warmth, edema, induration with or without tenderness, as well as urticaria and rash. Some data suggest that febrile reactions are more likely to occur in those who have experienced such responses after prior doses.

Other expected reactions from the child may include an unusual high-pitched cry, and crying may last for three hours or more.

Severe problems closely following DPT immunization happen very rarely. These include a serious allergic reaction, prolonged seizures, a decrease in consciousness, lasting brain disease, or even death. Such severe neurologic events occur after approximately 1 in 140,000 doses of the DPT vaccine (0.0007%). Most of the reactions to DPT injection are thought to be from the pertussis component.

In 1994, the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences published a report stating that if the first symptoms of neurological damage occurred within the first seven days following vaccination with whole-cell pertussis vaccine, the evidence was compatible with the possibility that it could be the cause of permanent brain damage in otherwise apparently healthy children. It continued by stating:

"This serious acute neurologic response to DPT is a rare event. The estimated excess risk ranged from 0 to 10.5 per million immunizations (IOM, 1991). The committee stresses that this is not the strongest statement regarding causality; the evidence does not "establish" or "prove" a causal relation...."

The evidence remains insufficient to indicate the presence or absence of a causal relation between DPT and chronic nervous system dysfunction under any other circumstances. That is, because the NCES is the only systematic study of chronic nervous system dysfunctions after DPT, the committee can only comment on the causal relation between DPT and those chronic nervous system dysfunctions under the conditions studied by the NCES. In particular, it should be noted that the chronic nervous system dysfunctions associated with DPT followed a serious acute neurologic illness that occurred in children within 7 days after receiving DPT.

A safer acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) was introduced in the US in 1991; since 2002, whole-cell pertussis vaccines are no longer used in the US.


Provided the general information.

Provided additional data.

Provided information on side effects.

Provided information on the Childhood Immunization Schedule.

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