DTP is an abbreviation for Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis. These three, are a serious disease caused by different forms of bacteria. While diphtheria and pertussis are communicable and have an ability to spread from person to person, tetanus enters the body through cut wounds or unhealed injuries.
Diphtheria causes a swelling which differs in thickness from person to person and can lead to heart failure, paralysis, breathing issues and in extreme cases, death. Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, leads to tightening of muscles all over the body. The victim’s jaw gets locked in such a manner that they are unable to open their mouth or even swallow. Pertussis or whooping cough causes intolerable coughing spells which might last for the duration of a week. This can further lead to pneumonia, seizures or brain damage.
DTP vaccine immunizes children and infants against the horrors of these diseases. In some places, this vaccine is also known as the DTaP vaccine. DTaP is a safer version of the older vaccine, which was informally known as DTP. This vaccine protects children throughout their childhood. Children usually receive 5 doses of the DTaP vaccine, ranging from 2 months to 6 years.
DTaP vaccine can lead to mild fever and severe allergic reactions in children. Although fever is considered quite normal, allergies might require you to pay some attention. You need to ask the doctor on what exactly the allergy might be because of and take the necessary precautions. Other side effects of this vaccine can be – redness, swelling or soreness where the shot was given, tiredness, irritability, and vomiting. The latter doses of DTaP are stronger than the earlier ones.
You should not have your child vaccinated if they are going through a severe illness, although mild illness is manageable. Also, do not give your child any more shots if they have an allergic reaction to the first one. Talk to your doctor and find out other ways in which you could go about this. DTaP is only for children below the age of 7 but there are other alternatives for adults above this age.
You can reduce fever and pain for your children by giving them aspirin-free pain reliever after the shot is given.
This vaccine is free of charge in most countries, while in some countries it might incur minor costs. If you want to know about DTP and the vaccine more, visit your nearest local doctor or your state health department’s website. Information is also available online; just make sure that you are referring to a reliable website or source.
If your child does face a life threatening reaction and comes through with it; don’t just let it go. File an application for the same with your highest health authority so that doctors and the government know about the reactions caused by the vaccine. Some countries also have compensation programs to compensate people who have been injured by certain vaccines.
There are downsides to this vaccine, but most of them are advantages. It is good for your children in the long term and would protect them from falling prey to several diseases. Always follow your doctor’s instruction and advice and take the necessary precaution.