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Diptheria and Tetanus

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Diphtheria and Tetanus

Diphtheria and Tetanus Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving this vaccine (Diphtheria and Tetanus)?

Your child should not receive this vaccine if the child has:

  • untreated or uncontrolled epilepsy or other seizure disorder; or
  • if the child has received cancer chemotherapy or radiation treatment in the past 3 months.

Your child may not be able to receive this vaccine if he or she has ever received a similar vaccine that caused any of the following:

  • a very high fever (over 104 degrees);
  • a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain;
  • excessive crying for 3 hours or longer;
  • fainting or going into shock;
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome (within 6 weeks after receiving a vaccine);
  • seizure (convulsions); or
  • a severe skin reaction.

If your child has any of these other conditions, this vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all:

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia or easy bruising;
  • a history of seizures;
  • a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain (or if this was a reaction to a previous vaccine);
  • an allergy to latex rubber;
  • a weak immune system caused by disease, bone marrow transplant, or by using certain medicines or receiving cancer treatments; or
  • if the child is taking a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin).

Your child can still receive a vaccine if he or she has a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until the child gets better before receiving this vaccine.

The pediatric version of this vaccine (DT) should not be given to anyone over the age of 6 years old. Another vaccine is available for use in older children and adults.

How is this vaccine given (Diphtheria and Tetanus)?

This vaccine is injected into a muscle. Your child will receive this injection in a doctor's office or clinic setting.

The diphtheria and tetanus toxoids vaccine is given in a series of shots. The first shot is usually given when the child is 2 months old. The booster shots are given at 4 months, 6 months, and 12 to 18 months of age. A fifth booster dose is then given between 4 and 6 years of age. Your child's booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by your local health department.

Your doctor may recommend treating fever and pain with an aspirin-free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) when the shot is given and for the next 24 hours. Follow the label directions or your doctor's instructions about how much of this medicine to give your child.

It is especially important to prevent fever from occurring in a child who has a seizure disorder such as epilepsy.

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