DTaP Vs Tdap : Differences Worth Knowing

DTaP and Tdap are two vaccines approved to keep away from the three diseases; which are: diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough or Pertussis. There are some special differences between the two vaccines. Read below to know about the differences.

DTap Vs TDap: Basic Differences

Both, DTaP and Tdap are the vaccines containing inactivated forms of the toxin that is produced by the bacteria that usually causes the three diseases, namely diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis or whooping cough.

DTaP is the vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis or whooping cough, that is approved for children below 7 years of age, while Tdap is a reduced dose of the diphtheria and pertussis vaccines and is actually considered to be the booster dose for ongoing protection against these diseases, as this dose boosts the immunity that wanes from the vaccines taken at ages 4-6 years of age or earlier. Tdap is for adolescents that starts at an age of 11 years and for adults of age group of 19 years to 64 years.

Over time, our immunity wears off. So, currently it is recommended that everyone must take a booster shot for tetanus and diphtheria in every 10 years, after getting immunized first. That booster comes with the vaccine called Td. However, since immunity to Pertussis or the whooping cough even wears off during our childhood, there is an addition of a weaker form of the vaccine Pertussis to the booster dose for making the vaccine Tdap.

DTap Vs TDap: Differences Based On The Age Group They Are Given

DTaP is the vaccine that is given to the children below the age of 7. However, Tdap is the booster vaccine given at the age of 11 years, and then any time during the age of 19 years to 64 years.

DTap Vs TDap: Differences Based On The Purpose They Are Taken

Based on the purposes the vaccines are taken, DTaP is known for developing the immunity to the three diseases, including diphtheria, tetanus and Pertussis.

However, Tdap is the booster vaccine that is added for the continued protection from the three diseases, i.e. diphtheria, tetanus and Pertussis.

DTap Vs TDap: Differences Based On Their Forms

DTaP contains one inactivated form of the toxins that are being produced by the bacteria causing the three diseases.

Tdap vaccine even contains the inactivated forms; however, it contains quite less of the Pertussis and diphtheria toxins when compared to the DTaP.

DTap Vs TDap: Differences Based On Their Dosage

Based on the dosage, there are differences between DTaP and Tdap. Children must receive 5 doses of the vaccine DTaP; one to be taken at 2 months, others at 4 months, at 6 months, one more between 15 months-18 months, and another between 4 years to 6 years respectively.

As the immunity fades gradually, adults are recommended to get one booster dose every 10 years. In case they received the Tdap during their childhood or at their adolescent age, they must receive the Td vaccine each 10 years.

DTap Vs TDap: Differences Based On The Risks Involved

DTaP vaccine might cause a small risk of developing allergic reaction. However, these risks are experienced in less than about 1 dose out of 1 million doses of the vaccine, and it usually happens within only a few minutes or few hours after the DTaP vaccine has been taken. Some other side effects of DTaP vaccine include: wheezing, hoarseness, difficulty in breathing, hives, weakness, dizziness and rapid heartbeat. There are also some other side effects of DTaP vaccine, which might rarely appear and they include coma, seizures, as well as brain damage. However, these side effects are so rare that the CDC can’t even tell whether they are associated with the DTaP vaccine. Some mild side effects of DTaP shot are fever, soreness, redness, vomiting and tiredness.

Tdap also has similar kind of side effects, such as fever (occurring in 1 out of 4 children), swelling and redness in the place where the vaccine has been given, tenderness or soreness in the area where the vaccine has been given. However, such problems appear more often only after the 4th dose or the 5th dose of the DTap series than the first few doses. There might be mild problems such as tiredness, fussiness or poor appetite, and vomiting, which might occur in 1-3 days of taking the Tdap shot. Moreover, some moderate problems, which are quite uncommon and these problems may include seizures, high fever, non-stop crying at least for 3 or more hours can occur with Tdap vaccine. Rarely, there may be some severe problems, such as allergic reactions, long-term cases of seizures, reduced consciousness, coma, and also permanent damage of the brain.


So, above we discussed about some of the differences between the two vaccines, i.e. the DTaP and the Tdap. You must always keep it noted to talk with your doctor about the benefits, as well as risks and side effects of the vaccine shots before taking them.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 12, 2019

Recent Posts

Related Posts