Schedule: CDC recommends that all children get 5 doses of DTaP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) vaccine, beginning at 2 months of age. If your child misses a dose or gets behind schedule, make sure they get the next dose as soon as possible. Older children, teens, and adults should receive one dose of Tdap vaccine and after that, a Td booster dose every 10 years.
Diphtheria once was a major cause of illness and death among children. The United States recorded 206,000 cases of diphtheria in 1921 and 15,520 deaths. Before there was treatment for diphtheria, up to half of the people who got the disease died from it.
Starting in the 1920s, diphtheria rates dropped quickly in the United States and other countries with the widespread use of vaccines. In the past decade, there were less than five cases of diphtheria in the United States reported to CDC. However, the disease continues to cause illness globally. In 2014, 7,321 cases of diphtheria were reported to the World Health Organization, but there are likely many more cases.
CDC’s Diptheria page offers accurate information and resources for all.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides questions and answers about Diptheria (DTap, Tdap, Td) from the Vaccine Education Center.