Learning all about DPT vaccines and schedules for children, is important for parents all around the globe, particularly those who are concerned that there may be a degree of health risk associated with immunization.
“A study published in the journal ‘Pediatrics’, in 2009, concluded that the largest risk among unvaccinated children, is the disease the vaccination is designed to protect against.”
In other words, for children who do not receive proper immunization, there is a greater health risk associated with contacting diptheria, pertusssis and tetanus, than there is with respect to experiencing potential medical problems, following immunization with DPT vaccine. This also suggests that in terms of taking appropriate preventative measures with regard to the spread of these diseases globally, it is a good idea to have all children immunized, as soon as possible.
Parents around the globe are encouraged to seek information about DPT immunization for their children. Note that some of these children may already have had previous DPT vaccine that needs to be up-dated, while others may not have received any of the immunization that they should have received. Most parents will have immunization records for their children. If not, their family doctors should have those records.
Note that DPT vaccine has been instrumental in saving the lives of many children.
What are DPT vaccines?
DPT vaccines help to prevent diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus. Parents interested in obtaining appropriate immunization for their children and wanting information about vaccine schedules should be aware that DPT vaccines may one of the following, depending upon the country in which they resides.
1. DPT (DTP and DTwP)
2. DTaP(DTPa and TDaP)
3. DKPT (Netherlands)
What is the difference between these vaccines? Let us look them individually, for a moment.
What is DPT?
“DPT (also DTP and DTwP) refers to a class of combination vaccines against three infectious diseases in humans: diphtheria, pertussis, (whooping cough) and tetanus. The vaccine components include diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, and killed whole cells of the organism that causes pertussis (wP).
What is DPaP?
“DPaP (also DTPa and TDaP) refers to similar combination vaccines in which the pertussis component is acellular.”
What is DKTP?
“In the Netherlands, the acronym DPT refers to a combination vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis. There, pertussis is known as kinkhoest and DKTP refers to a combination vaccine against diphtheria, pertussis/kinkhoest, tetanus, and polio.”
Note that polio is not normally included as a part of the DPT vaccine administered in the western world.
What is the appropriate schedule for vaccination of children?
“The usual course of childhood immunization is five doses between 2 months and 15 years.”
Most parents, residing in the western hemisphere, will not hesitate to have their child or children vaccinated against diptheria, pertussis and tetanus, because they are aware that these diseases are potentially life threatening. At the same time, there are parents who remain apprehensive. One might ask why they are worried about DPT immunization for their children. Are there side effects to DPT? In other words, can children suffer serious medical problems after immunization with DPT vaccine?
“At the same time, many parents have declined to vaccinate their children against the disease for fear of side effects; however, most side effects of the vaccination are moderate, and severe problems closely following DPT immunization happen very rarely.”
This is suggesting that medically speaking, while it is possible that there can be serious medical problems associated with DPT vaccine, these do not occur very often. If a child does react adversely to DPT vaccine, a moderate to mild reaction is more likely to occur.
“Moderate reactions to DPT vaccines occur in 0.1% of children and include ongoing crying (for three hours or more), a high fever (up to 40 degrees C/105 degrees F), and an unusual, high pitched crying.”
Acellular vaccines are less likely to cause side effects; they can also be more costly.
“The acellular vaccine is safer, in that it causes substantially fewer side-effects (estimated at 90% fewer), which commonly include local pain and redness, and/or fever.”
For those parents who have further questions about DPT, other kinds of immunization or are interested in obtaining appropriate immunization schedules for their children, it is a good idea to contact their local family physicians or pediatricians. This may vary depending upon the ages of their children and any previous immunization that they have already received.
Further information about DPT vaccines is also available on the internet, as well as through numerous local public health agencies.