FAQs - Diphtheria Vaccine

1) What type of vaccination is diphtheria vaccine?

Diphtheria vaccination is based on the concept of helping the bacteria grow in an inactivated toxin names toxoid. This liquid medium works by inactivating the toxin produced by the diphtheria causing bacterium.

The vaccination given is DTaP. Since this vaccine cannot reproduce, there is a need to administer multiple shots.

2) How is the vaccination administered?

The vaccination is administered by injecting the fluid into the muscles of the patient with the help of a syringe. In the case of adults, it is done in the deltoid muscles whereas for the infants, the anterolateral muscles.

3) Which groups of people need this kind of vaccination?

It is almost mandatory in the case of children below the age of 5. For the adults, it is preferred to get a shot of this vaccination every 10 years. People of all age groups living in all kinds of environments should get it as a preservative method.

4) Is there anyone who should not receive this vaccination?

Those people who have suffered serious side effects from the administration of this vaccination should stay away from its dosage. Also included in the list are those who are going ill. It is better to postpone its dosage till the time the illness wears off and the medical condition is back to normal.

5) How many times does one have to take the vaccination?

There is a regular vaccination schedule for the new born children. The months in which a shot of this vaccination is required are 2nd, 4th, 6th and 18th month. After this, one last dose is administered at the age of 6, following which, the regular schedule of 10 years can be followed. Because the effect wears down with time, regular dosage should be taken from time to time.

6) To what extent is the vaccination effective?

The DTaP vaccination is effective in more than 95% of the cases. Majority of the people have the required antigens and antibodies in their blood stream for the designated period of time to keep them safe from acquiring this disease.

7) Is the vaccination safe?

There are no major effects from this vaccination minus the usual tingling feelings along with soreness and swelling that are felt after any injection. Some people may experience loss of appetite or tiredness. Depending on the body's sensitivity, some may also have vomiting. Recently, the use of a better quality of DTaP has reduced the occurrence of these reactions too.

8) What are the side effects of the Diphtheria vaccination?

The side effects that come with the vaccination for diphtheria apart from those that are felt in the area of injection include mild fever, the occurrence of which is seen in about 2-5 percent people.

In more rare cases, there have been reports of high degree fever or frequent crying. Amongst the more common complaints are those of headaches and body ache. The side effects become more prominent if an over dose of the vaccinations are taken.