Daptacel is approved for preventing diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough in infants and young children. This vaccine is often given as part of a routine childhood vaccination schedule. There are currently no approved uses for Daptacel in adults or children over the age of seven, as there are more appropriate vaccines for these age groups.
What Is Daptacel Used For?
Daptacel® (DTaP) is one of several available DTaP vaccines available for routine childhood vaccinations. It is used for vaccinating infants and children under the age of seven. Daptacel provides protection from the following diseases:
- Diphtheria, an upper respiratory tract infection that causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.
- Tetanus, a life-threatening condition that causes painful and dangerous tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. Unlike diphtheria and pertussis (which are spread from person to person), tetanus is usually acquired through cuts or wounds.
- Pertussis (also known as whooping cough), which is characterized by severe coughing spells that may end in a "whooping" sound when the infected person inhales. Severe complications of pertussis include pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death.
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," which means 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 previous 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 "trick" 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.