Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis (DPT)

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis are serious diseases.

Diphtheria

  • Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat
  • It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death

Tetanus (Lockjaw)

  • Tetanus causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body
  • It can lead to "locking" of the jaw so the person cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus can lead to death.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

  • Pertussis causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe. These can last for weeks.
  • It can lead to pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring) spells, brain damage, and death.

When Should Your Child Get Vaccinated?

Most children should get a dose at these ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 12 to 18 months
  • 4 to 6 years
  • At 11 to 12 years of age and every 10 years after that you should get a booster to prevent diphtheria and tetanus.

For more information, visit your local health department or Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Arizona Department of Health.