Preventing Diphtheria

Diphtheria is preventable with the use of antibiotics and vaccines.

The vaccine for diphtheria is called DTaP. It’s usually given in a single shot along with vaccines for pertussis and tetanus.

The DTaP vaccine is administered in a series of five shots. It’s given to children at the following ages:
• 2 months
• 4 months
• 6 months
• 12 to 18 months
• 4 to 6 years

In rare cases, a child might have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This can result in seizures or hives, which will later go away.

Vaccines only last for 10 years, so your child will need to be vaccinated again around age 12. For adults, it’s recommended that you get a combined diphtheria and tetanus booster shot.

This is known as the tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine. Taking these steps can help prevent you and your child from getting diphtheria in the future.

Sources:
http://www.cdc.gov/diphtheria/about/index.html
http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/lung/diphtheria.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diphtheria/DS00495