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Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
DTaP, Tdap, Adacel, Boostrix, Infanrix, Pentaxim, Hexaxim

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine - What is it for

DTaP/Tdap vaccines help to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Diphtheria and pertussis are infectious diseases which spread from one person to another through the air, via coughs or sneezes. Tetanus is not contagious but is a serious disease affecting the nerves, and enters the body through cuts or wounds.

Diphtheria- Diphtheria bacteria cause breathing difficulties, problems with swallowing, heart failure, paralysis, and death.

Tetanus- Tetanus bacteria produce a toxin that causes “lockjaw” resulting in painful muscle contractions, which interferes with breathing and swallowing, leading to death.

Pertussis - Pertussis bacteria cause uncontrollable, violent coughing (“whooping cough”) which results in breathing difficulties, as well as problems in eating or drinking.

What Are the Types of DTaP/Tdap Vaccine Available?
There are two types of vaccines available, which differ in their diphtheria and pertussis content:

  1. DTaP: Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis
  2. Tdap: Tetanus, reduced diphtheria and acellular pertussis content

Who Should Receive the DTaP/Tdap Vaccine?
As part of the Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS), all children should receive a series of 3 doses, followed by 2 booster doses: 

​Dose/Booster​Dose 1​Dose 2​Dose 3​Booster 1​Booster 2
​Age​2 months​4 months​6 months​18 months​10-11 years
​Vaccine Type​DTaP​DTaP​DTaP​DTaP​Tdap


As part of the Singapore National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS), the Tdap vaccine is recommended for adults with certain medical conditions, with no history of previous vaccination or if their last vaccination was at least 10 years ago. Consult your doctor for more details.

One dose of the Tdap vaccine is also recommended during 16 to 32 weeks of each pregnancy for protection of the infant against pertussis, regardless of the interval since the previous Tdap vaccination.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine cause?

Common side effects include:

  • Some people may feel faint after the vaccination
    • Sit for 15 minutes to avoid fainting
  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
    • You may place a cold compress over the affected area for relief
    • You may give paracetamol for pain relief
  • Crying, irritability, restlessness, sleepiness
    • These side effects usually go away on its own
  • Loss of appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting
    • These side effects usually go away on its own

 Please see a doctor if these side effects do not get better or become worse.

Rare but serious side effects include:
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should inform your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine, what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this vaccine or any of the other ingredients of this vaccine
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications
  • You had an adverse reaction to the previous dose of the vaccination, especially involving the brain such as altered mental status, coma or fits
  • You have a history of fits (convulsions)
  • You are currently not feeling well and having a fever
  • You have an history of bleeding disorders

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine?

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine - Dosage and How to Use

How should Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine be used?

How Is the DTaP/Tdap Vaccine Given?
It is given by injection into a muscle.
The DTaP/Tdap vaccine is a combination vaccine given as one shot.
It may be given on its own as one shot, or in combination with other vaccines (e.g. Hepatitis B, Hib, Polio, Varicella) as one shot.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

What should I do if I overdose?

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine - Handling

How should I handle Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine safely?

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine - Storage

How should I store Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine safely?

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) Vaccine - Additional Information

  • Updated on Thursday, September 30, 2021
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

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