Updated
June 10th, 2018

DTaP Vaccine Re-affirmed Safe for Children

Infanrix, Daptacel, Kinrix, Pediarix, and Pentacel DTaP vaccines reported safe

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One of the most common questions about vaccines given to children is whether or not a vaccine is safe to administer.

To answer this question, the authors of a new study looked for adverse reactions associated with the diphtheria, tetanus toxoid and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, from 1991 to 2016.  

This study reported only 11 percent of 50,157 adverse reports related to the DTaP vaccine over that time period were rated as serious reactions. 

Most of the adverse reactions involved site erythema, swelling, warmth, and, in about 20%, fever. 

In addition, almost 90% of the time the DTaP vaccine had been given in conjunction with other vaccines

This means the adverse event reported might not have even be due to the DTaP vaccine itself.

These researchers said ‘In this assessment of the safety of DTaP vaccines (Infanrix, Daptacel, Kinrix, Pediarix, and Pentacel), we did not identify any new or unexpected safety issues.’

The data for this study came from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The DTaP vaccine was administered to 84.6 percent of children between the ages of 19 and 35 months during 2016, says the CDC. 

“While there is a great benefit to the DTaP, we also know that its immunogenicity is time-limited.  Booster doses are required for teenagers and adults,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Flor Munoz.

“Providing a booster dose to a pregnant woman not only protects the woman but persistence of immunity can help protect her baby.”

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“We should be happy that we can effectively prevent the spread of pertussis and in turn its life-threatening complications through the DTaP vaccine,” said Dr. Muniz.

The first DTaP vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States in 1991.

In 2012, this recommendation was expanded to include all pregnant women during every pregnancy, with the optimal time for vaccination in the third trimester.

“We help women better understand the importance of getting the Tdap vaccine to protect their newborn,” said Soni Bozeman, Pharm.D., a Clinical Pharmacist with Brookshires Grocery Pharmacy.

“We believe easy, affordable access to Tdap vaccines for parents and grandparents alike is key to decreasing these diseases cases,” said Bozeman.

There are two kinds of Tdap vaccines, both are combined with vaccines for other diseases:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccines
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccines

The current CDC vaccine price list can be found here. Discounts for vaccines can be found at this webpage. 

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC. 

This study’s correspondence coordinator is Pedro L. Moro, MD, MPH, Immunization Safety Office, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, MS D26, Atlanta, GA 30333. E-mail: [email protected].

The authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose. The funding was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration