Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus Immunization


The Full form of DPT is Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus Immunization. DPT (also DTP and DTwP) is a class of combination vaccines given 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 bacterium that causes pertussis (wP). DTaP and Tdap refer to similar combination vaccines in which the component “P” or “p” with lower case “a” is acellular. In DPT, D stands for Diptheria that can cause breathing problems, heart failure and paralysis. Before vaccines, diphtheria killed tens of thousands of children every year in the United States. The “T” stands for Tetanus, it causes painful tightening of the muscles. It can cause “locking” of the jaw so you cannot open your mouth or swallow. About 1 person out of 5 who get tetanus dies and the letter “P” stands for Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough, causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants and children to eat, drink, or breathe. It can cause pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, or death. Most children who are vaccinated with DPT will be protected throughout childhood. Many more children would get these diseases if we stopped vaccinating.