March 26, 2023

When should my child get the diphtheria shot?

diphtheria shot

Did you know doctors recommend five doses of a Tdap booster and a DTap shot for children to protect them from Diphtheria? 

The diphtheria vaccine protects children and preteens against the most dangerous bacterial infection-diphtheria. Diphtheria can cause server inflammation to your child’s throat and nose. Even though Diphtheria is uncommon in developed countries, it can still be contracted. Diphtheria can cause serious problems such as pneumonia (lung infection), lung failure, and paralysis.  

Diphtheria kills about one out of every ten people who contract it! 

The easiest approach to avoid infection is to get vaccinated against Diphtheria. When the diphtheria vaccination is given to your child at the initial stages, they are less likely to get infected.  

When should my child get the diphtheria shot? 

Doctors recommend that a child should get a Tdap booster and DTap vaccine at the following stages: 

  • 1st Dose- 2 Months 
  • 2nd Dose- 4 Months 
  • 3rd Dose- 6 Months 
  • 4th Dose- 15-18 Months 
  • 5th Dose- 4-6 Years 
  • 6th Dose- 11 or 12 Years. 

Why should my child get a diphtheria vaccination? 

  • Protects against the most dangerous infection-diphtheria as well as whooping cough and tetanus. 
  • It keeps your child from missing child care or school and you from missing work. 
  •  Diphtheria can cause a thick coating at the back of the throat or nose, that makes it difficult for your kid to swallow or breathe. This vaccination protects your child from such effects. 

Side effects of Diphtheria Shot 

Most kids do not suffer from any side effects after Tdap or DTaP shot. The side effects that might happen are usually mild, including: 

  • Fever 
  • Vomiting 
  • Pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given. 

Serious side effects are rare, but DTaP can include: 

  • Seizures (staring, twitching of muscles, and jerking) 
  • Nonstop crying for 3 hours or more. 
  • The fever is over 150 degrees.  

Symptoms of Diphtheria 

The symptoms of Diphtheria include: 

  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above 
  • sore throat 
  • a thick grey-white coating at the back of the throat 
  • breathing difficulties 

An estimated 5-10% of People who get infected from Diphtheria will die from complications such as problems with the nervous system, heart inflammation, and breathing difficulties. 

When to Delay DTaP Immunization? 

Simple colds or other minor diseases should not prohibit immunization, but if your kid has a more serious sickness, your doctor may choose to reschedule the vaccine. 

If your kid has any of the following symptoms after a previous DTaP vaccination, talk to your doctor about whether having the vaccine is a wise choice. 

  • A severe allergic reaction is an issue with the brain or nerve system, such as comma or seizures 
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome is characterized by extreme pain or swelling affecting the entire arm or leg. 
  • Your doctor may choose to give your child a partial vaccine or no vaccine or conclude that the advantages of vaccination exceed the dangers. 

After DTaP Immunization, How to Care for Your Child? 

Your kid may develop a fever, discomfort, swelling, and redness in the area where the shot was administered. Check with your doctor to see if you can give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and fever and determine the proper amount. 

Moving or utilizing the arm and a warm, damp cloth or a heating pad over the injection site can help relieve soreness. 

Final Words 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend all children get the vaccination as per the recommended vaccination schedule. Your kid must get vaccinated on time as it prevents the risk of catching Diphtheria, a dangerous infection. Do not avoid or delay the vaccination until and unless there is a major concern about your child’s illness.  

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