This vaccine was given to children in the United States five times during their early childhood.
The vaccine is given at to the children at:
15 to 18 months
4 to 6 years
This vaccine will protect the child against Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus, giving the vaccine the initials DPT. Pertussis was also referred to as whooping cough. Each one of these infections is caused by bacteria and can be fatal.
Side Effects of the DPT Vaccine
Not all children will develop side effects from this vaccine. Some may develop one or two while some will have all of them. Having a mild fever-one to three days after getting the vaccine some children may have a mild fever and some may also have chills. Using the appropriate dosage, the parent can reduce the fever using acetaminophen. Most of the time this fever will resolve itself without treatment but make sure that the fever is checked to make sure that it remains low.
Soreness at the site of the injection-this is another side effect that is common with this vaccine. It could be accompanied with swelling, hardness, or redness of the area of injection and will usually go away in a week. To help treat this side effect treat the area with warm soaks to help ease the discomfort. Moving the limb will also help to ease the soreness. Several weeks after having the shot a tiny hard nodule may appear at the injection area. There are some children who may experience swelling of the leg or arm where they got the vaccine that last for up to seven days.
Irritability-children may become fretful, cranky, irritable, and fussy. They may need more comforting, whine, and cry, which will normally resolve within a few days. Vomiting-there are some children that may vomit from up to three days after they get the vaccine. It could be an isolated event. For a short period of time, they may lose their appetite and refuse to drink or eat. A parent should black spots on lips encourage their children to drink when the child quits vomiting. If the vomiting continues pass one day or is severe the pediatrician should be contacted.
Being drowsy-some become ill or feel drowsy and if this side effect happens, let them rest because it will usually go away in a few days. If the child appears unusually tired you should contact their pediatrician.
Less common reactions-these can include hypersensitivity or an allergic reaction which is rare and if it happens it will be within the a few hours after getting the vaccine. Signs of an allergic reaction can include hives, pale skin, hoarseness, and weakness. Any sign of an allergic reaction should be reported to their pediatrician immediately.