What is diphtheria and tetanus toxoids vaccine?
Diphtheria and tetanus are serious diseases caused by bacteria. Diphtheria causes a thick coating in the nose, throat, and airways. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, or death. Tetanus (lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the victim cannot open the mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in about 1 out of 10 cases. Diphtheria is spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through a cut or wound. The diphtheria and tetanus toxoids vaccine (also called DT) is used to help prevent these diseases in children who are ages 6 weeks to 6 years old, before the child has reached his or her 7th birthday. This vaccine works by exposing your child to a small dose of the bacteria or a protein from the bacteria, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body. Like any vaccine, the diphthe