Vaccine Information Leaflet
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 easily spread from person to person but is a serious disease affecting the nerves, and enters the body through cuts or wounds.
Diphtheria - Diphtheria bacteria causes 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.
There are two types of vaccines available, which differ in their diphtheria and pertussis content:
DTaP: Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis
Tdap: Tetanus, reduced diphtheria and acellular pertussis content
As part of the Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS), all children should receive a series of 3 doses, followed by 2 booster doses:
Immunisation against diphtheria is compulsory by law. This vaccination is also required for enrolment into schools.
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.
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 (seizures)
You have a history of fits (seizures)
You are currently not feeling well and having a fever
You have an history of bleeding disorders
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.
Some people may feel faint after the vaccination
Sit for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine 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 take paracetamol for pain relief
Crying, irritability, restlessness, sleepiness in children
These side effects usually go away on its own
Loss of appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting
Please see a doctor if these side effects do not get better or become worse.
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
Difficulty in breathing
Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should inform your healthcare professional immediately.
The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.
This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.
Last updated on Jul 2022
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This article was last reviewed on
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
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