DTaP painless Triple vaccine

DTaP painless Triple vaccine

After launch of DTwP (DPT) vaccine in universal immunization schedules and followed by national immunization schedule of many countries around the world, a significant reduction was noted in incidences of all the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis cases. The vaccine was a huge success in reducing the mortality and morbidity in the population. With this effect seen vaccination was widely accepted around the world as a routine for all.

Whole cell pertussis vaccine DTwP (DPT) had whole cell killed pertussis component. Though this vaccine is safe and still in use there was a concern of side effects which are mild compared to deaths and disabilities occurring due to the disease. Still it was concern for many. This was affecting the acceptance of the vaccine. So sooner the effects to find painless alternatives were started and were successful too. First time in Japan in 1981 a DPT vaccines containing acellular pertussis components were developed. It was found to be equally effective compared to whole cell killed pertissis containing vaccine (DTwP) and with lesser side effects. This vaccine got approval in US in 1996.

About DTaP Vaccine:

DTaP is a painless alternative of DPT (DTwP) vaccine. It contains diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis antigens. The components acellular pertussis antigens vary according to brands. Acellular pertussis vaccine usually contains purified antigen pertussis toxin(PT), Filamentous hemagglutinin antigen(FHA), pertactin(PRN), fimbrial hemagglutinins 1, 2 and 3 (FIM type 1, type 2 and type 3).

The antigens containing in vaccine vary from brand to brand in types and amount too. It also vary with bacterial clone used to purify the antigens. Methods of purification and detoxification are also different. Incorporated adjuvants and preservatives like thiomarsal are also different in different brands. 

The vaccine containing 2-3 or more antigens is generally more efficacious than that containing single antigen. Still the efficacy of most brands available is comparable to DTwP vaccine. All have reported comparatively lesser side effects than that of DTwP. In developed countries DTaP is widely accepted as compared to DTwP. In many countries DTaP has replaced DTwP in national programmes.

How DTaP vaccine is stored?

DTaP vaccine is stored and transported at 2-8 degree Celsius. During all steps of transportation and storage temperature is maintained between 2-8 degree Celsius.

If vaccine is frozen accidentally it should be discarded and not used. Temperature control is utmost important in maintaining the efficacy of the product. This issue is very important in developing countries where the infrastructure and cold chains are lacking.

How DTaP vaccine is given?

DTaP vaccine is given by injection preferably on anterolateral aspect of thigh. The universal precaution and safety injection protocol is to be followed while giving injection like all other injections.

At what age this vaccine is given?

DTaP vaccine like all other vaccines included in vaccine schedule is give at certain age. DTaP vaccine is given at age 6 weeks, 10 and 14 weeks as a primary series. First booster is given at age 18 months and second booster is given at age 5 years. Like DTwP vaccine this vaccine is safe and can be used only below age 7 years. For above 7 years age generally Tdap is used.

What if some has missed the DTaP dose?

Missed dose has to be given as early as possible. Depending on age of the patient 3 or 4 doses of the vaccine are needed. The personal advise given by your doctor should be followed. Those who are unvaccinated and above 5 years, 3 doses with schedule 0, 1 and 6 are used with timely boosters every 5 years.

What are side effects of DTaP?

Side effects of DTaP are same as DPT (DTwP) that is whole cell killed pertussis components containing vaccine. These side effects incidences and severity is lesser with DTaP vaccine. Side effects after DTaP vaccines are less by two third in incidence and severity compared to DTwP vaccine.

· Fever usually mild to moderate grade subsides with oral medications.

· Irritability and crying.

· Neurological side effects are much less compared to DTwP in incidences and severity.

· Local pain very less with very less swelling and redness compared to whole cell pertussis containing vaccine.

· Other side effects are extremely rare even with DPT, with DTaP these incidences reduce further.

So with DTaP vaccine the effect is similar to DPT whole cell pertussis vaccine but side effects are lesser significantly.

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