Diphtheria – Tetanus Pertussis (DTP) Vaccine


• Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis are serious diseases caused

• by bacteria. Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person. 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, brain damage, and death.

What is DTP vaccine?

• Diphtheria – Tetanus Pertussis vaccine is made from diphtheria toxiod, tetanus toxiod, and pertussis vaccine. It is a liquid vaccine. If a vial DTP vaccine stands for a long time, fine particles may separate from the liquid. they look like fine sand at the bottom of the vial. before giving the vaccine, shake the vial to mix the vaccine and liquid.

• DTP vaccine should never be frozen because it damages Diptheria Toxiod and Tetanus Toxiod but sunlight damage pertussis. the shake test (see figure 3)will determine if the vaccine has been damaged by freezing. if the vaccine fails the shake test, you must discard it.


How safe is DTP vaccine and what is its potential side effect?

Usually; reaction to DTP vaccine are mild. the side effect including:

– Fever; up to half of the children who receive DTP vaccine may have a fever in the evening after receiving the injection. the fever should disappear within a day.


• A fever that begin more than 24 hours after DTP injection is not likely to be a reaction to the vaccine. Administrating paracetamol or any appropriate antipyretic at time and at four and eight hours after immunization decreases the subsequent incidence of febrile and local reaction,.. .

– Soreness;; up to half of the children may have pain, redness or selling at the injection site.

– Crying for more than three hours, mostly because of pain, can be observed in up to1% of infant.

More serve reaction:

– Convulsions (usually related to fever (1 case in 12500 doses administrated)

– Hypotonic – hypo responsive episode (1 case in 1750 doses administratered)

– Anaphylactic reaction are extremely rare.

– There is no evidence that the vaccine causes any serious neurological disorder such as encephalopathy.


Administration summary of DTP Vaccine

Type of vaccine

Diphtheria, Tetanus as Toxoid, and Pertussis as killed whole cell bacterium

Number of doses

At least three primary doses


6,10, 14 weeks of age

In 2,4,6,12 month


18 month to 6 years of age


Anaphylactic reaction to previous dose or to any constituent.

Adverse reaction

Mild local or systemic reactions are common

Special precaution

DTP not usually given over 6 years of age


0.5 ml

Injection site

Outer mid-thigh in infant / outer upper arm if older

Injection site



DTP vaccine should never frozen

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