The first tetanus toxoid or inactivated toxin was produced in 1924 and this was used in US armed forces during World War II as a prevention measure for tetanus. Similarly toxoid for diphtheria was produced in 1921 but was not used till 1930.
However, it was decided to combine both these vaccines along with inactivated pertussis bacteria and a single vaccine was developed in 1940 which is known as DTP vaccine. This vaccine is used for routine childhood immunization. In 1991, pertussis component of the vaccine was purified and made ‘acellular’ to reduce side effects. This is known as DTaP vaccine. In 2005, tetanus toxoid-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (TDaP) was introduced for persons above 7 years. The vaccine is injected in the muscle.
Infants are given DTaP vaccine as part of routine immunization. The schedule for infants is a series of four doses given at 2, 4, 6 and 15-18 months of age. A fifth dose, also known as booster dose, is to be given at 4 to 6 years of age. If the infant cannot receive the pertussis component, then DT-pediatric vaccine is given. For adults without documentation, a primary series of Td vaccine is given.
It is recommended that the older children are to be given first dose of Tdap at age 11-12 as a booster if he has finished childhood DTaP schedule. Adults are given booster dose of Td every 10 years. Adults in the age group 19-64, who had not received TDaP can be given one dose of TDaP in place of Td to increase their resistance to pertussis.
It is necessary to keep a record of immunization to avoid repeat doses. If a person experiences a deep wound, an additional booster dose is necessary. However, it is not necessary if the previous dose was given more than five year ago.
Some children experience reactions such as soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site. Other reactions such as fever and vomiting may be observed in a few cases.
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