How Does Daptacel Work?
This vaccine contains several different components, including tetanus toxoids, diphtheria toxoids, and pertussis antigens. None of the components of this vaccine are "live," meaning that Daptacel cannot cause diphtheria, tetanus, or pertussis.
It is also important to note that the pertussis component of this vaccine is acellular (not made up of whole pertussis cells) and is much safer than the whole cell pertussis vaccine that was used in the past.
Additionally, Daptacel contains five different pertussis antigens, instead of the typical three used in previous versions of the DTaP vaccine.
Simply stated, the components of this vaccine work by "tricking" the body into thinking it has been exposed to these different infections. The body produces antibodies that will help fight the infections if future exposure occurs.
When and How to Get Vaccinated
Some general considerations include the following:
- This vaccine is typically given as a five-dose series. The first dose is typically given at two months of age, and the fifth dose is given between four and six years of age.
- Daptacel is injected into a muscle (intramuscularly), usually in the thigh for infants. In older children, the upper arm can be used.
- Children can be vaccinated if they have a minor illness, such as the common cold. However, the vaccine should be postponed if the child is moderately or severely ill.
There is only one standard recommended dosage for this vaccine, although there is some flexibility in the vaccination schedule.
(Click Daptacel Dosage for more information.)