Vaccinations: DTap or DTP

Vaccine ShotVaccinations have become controversial. For the next couple of blogs we will be learning a little more about different vaccinations because whether you are in favor of or against vaccinations, you can benefit from knowing a little about the different vaccinations you or your loved ones may be offered. Here is some important information to consider about the vaccination DTap or DTP.

The DTap or DTP vaccine is usually administered by an allied health professional at your baby's two-month check up. This vaccination is meant to immunize your baby against diphtheria (D), tetanus (T) and either acellular pertussis (aP) or whole cell pertussis (P). It takes five injections to successfully administer all of the components of this vaccine. The first three injections are given at the baby's two month check up. The remaining injections are given at the four and six month check ups and the final injection is administered between 6 and 12 months after the third dose. This usually falls around the time your baby turns 18 months old. Your child will receive a “booster” shot of DTaP or DTP right before she enters school.

The side effects of this vaccination can appear within the first twenty-four hours. Your baby may be fussy and seem less active than usual. The vaccination sites may be red and sore to the touch. A low-grade fever (below 102 degrees) can result from this vaccination. All of these reactions should not last more than 48 hours. To help relieve any of these symptoms, acetaminophen can be given every four hours. Aspirin should not be administered.

There are serious side effects that have been associated with this vaccine. However, your child has a less than 1 percent chance of experiencing any of the following side effects. Notify your midwife or pediatrician if you notice any of the following symptoms:

-If your baby cries inconsolably for more than three hours.

-If your baby has an unusually high-pitched cry

-If your baby appears much sleepier than usual or has difficulty waking up

-If your baby is limp or pale

-If baby has a temperature higher than 105 degrees Fahrenheit

-If baby experiences convulsions