Vaccination against diphtheria: features, contraindications, side effects

As a protection against a dangerous infection, diphtheria vaccine is given to children as early as infancy. The disease provokes the toxin of the microorganism Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The course of the disease is quite heavy: dense films form on the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx, throat and intestines, under which ulcers and tissue necrosis are found.

If serum is not administered in time, the mortality rate is 70 out of 100 cases. Therefore, diphtheria vaccine is given to children from three months of age in the form of a complex vaccine - DTP, which is also a protection against tetanus and pertussis. In the isolated version, diphtheria vaccination is rarely used today.

Vaccination against diphtheria and tetanus

Most often, children are given a vaccine against diphtheria and tetanus at the same time - it is a combination of toxoids and is called ADS. There is also a vaccine with a pertussis component (DPT vaccination), but not all children tolerate it. Why an injection is done immediately from two diseases? There are well-justified reasons for this:

  • Both components (diphtheria and tetanus) require the same active substance - aluminum hydroxide;
  • vaccination schedules, schedules, terms of vaccination against these diseases (if taken separately) are the same, which allows you to put these vaccines at the same time;
  • The current level of industry development makes it possible to place these two components in one preparation, which means that the number of injections for babies is halved.

In any case, it is convenient for doctors, parents, and children themselves that a single vaccine provides protection from two dangerous infections at once. Accordingly, the reaction of a small organism to vaccination, its side effects can be experienced only 1 time instead of 2 times.

Vaccination features

Doctors should inform parents in advance when a vaccine against diphtheria is being given and how to prepare for the upcoming vaccination. It is carried out in accordance with the generally accepted vaccination schedule:

  • in 3 months;
  • in 4.5 months;
  • in half a year;
  • at one and a half year;
  • in 6-7 years.

Full body susceptibility to diphtheria is formed after the introduction of three doses of vaccine (they are placed with an interval of 30-40 days). But to maintain the immune system, children are given two additional vaccinations against diphtheria, which make it possible to preserve immunity to infection for 10 years. So revaccination after that will be necessary only in 16-17 years.

The second question that parents always care about before this procedure is where they get the diphtheria vaccine for children. This requires muscle, so it is recommended to inject an injection under the scapula or in the thigh, where the skin thickness is not large, which means that the vaccine will quickly reach its ultimate goal.

Despite the usefulness and maximum effectiveness of this vaccine, as well as the availability of information, as they do with diphtheria vaccine, many parents doubt whether to give consent to such a procedure. Why the number of failures from it every year does not decrease, but grows?

Pros and cons

Before vaccination, parents are interested in whether a vaccine against diphtheria is obligatory and whether it is possible to refuse it. On the one hand, you can write a refusal, and then the injection will not enter the child. But at the same time, doctors should explain in detail to parents what this may lead to. You need to keep in mind what advantages the diphtheria vaccine has:

  • the risk of infection is minimal;
  • even if the child becomes ill with diphtheria, but is vaccinated from it, the course of the disease will be fast, the form - easy, recovery will not be slow to wait;
  • when your child grows up, he may not be recruited due to the lack of information on this vaccination in his medical record.

Moreover, the list of works for which the vaccination against diphtheria is required, is quite impressive:

  • agricultural;
  • construction;
  • irrigation and drainage;
  • procurement;
  • geological;
  • fishing;
  • survey;
  • expeditionary;
  • care for animals;
  • sewer maintenance;
  • the medicine;
  • education.

So if you want to see your crumb in the future as a doctor or teacher, it is better to immediately agree to vaccination, otherwise many of the doors in front of him will simply close. Why, then, vaccination against diphtheria so frightens parents that they refuse a saving and so useful injection? Perhaps they are afraid of a list of those complications that may arise after it. However, they develop only if some contraindications have not been observed, the presence of which is detected in children before they are given the vaccine.


One of the main advantages of diphtheria vaccination is a minimum of contraindications. Vaccination is not carried out at all if the child has an individual intolerance to the components of the injected drug. In other cases, vaccination can only be postponed:

  • in the acute course of any disease;
  • if there is a high temperature;
  • if you are taking potent drugs;
  • the presence of eczema;
  • if the child has diathesis.

If individual intolerance or these factors were not identified in time, only in this case can we expect any side effects after vaccination against diphtheria. In all other cases, the reaction to this vaccination does not go beyond the normal.

Vaccination reaction

Parents should know what kind of reaction to diphtheria vaccine their child should have, so as not to worry. Despite the fact that the symptoms of this post-vaccination reaction can be unpleasant, they quickly and completely pass away without affecting the health of the child. These often include:

  • local reaction: redness of the skin;
  • lethargy;
  • general malaise;
  • drowsiness;
  • if the diphtheria vaccine hurts, you do not need to be afraid of it: inflammation forms at the injection site, which can be accompanied by pain, so this reaction is natural for a whole week after vaccination;
  • a slight swelling at the injection site can also last for a week until the drug is completely absorbed into the blood;
  • the formation of a lump is due to the fact that the vaccine preparation did not get into the muscle, but into the fiber under the skin: there is nothing wrong with that, but this tumor will dissolve for quite a long time - within a month;
  • if the child has a fever within two days after vaccination, it can be brought down by febrifugal; it usually does not last too long and is never extremely high.

In order for the reactions after injection to be completely normal, you need to know a few basic points of care for the puncture site. For example, many are interested in how much it is necessary not to wash after vaccination against diphtheria and tetanus, although there are no contraindications after this vaccination to water procedures. You just do not need to bathe the child in a too hot bath with foam, and even more so with salt, so as not to irritate the skin at the injection site. Washcloth is also better not to use during the week. For the rest, there are no restrictions, so parents should not be afraid to give consent to diphtheria vaccination. Moreover, complications after it are extremely rare.


All the consequences of diphtheria vaccine are difficult to call complications, since, firstly, they are very rare, and secondly, they do not cause significant harm to the health of the child. These include:

  • diarrhea;
  • excessive sweating;
  • itching;
  • dermatitis;
  • cough;
  • otitis;
  • pharyngitis;
  • runny nose;
  • bronchitis.

All these diseases are treated in a short time. As side effects after vaccination against diphtheria, they are extremely rare. Moreover, the motives of those parents who refuse this vaccination are not clear. Neither anaphylactic shock nor deaths after injection of ADS were observed. At the same time, the effectiveness and benefits of vaccination have been repeatedly confirmed in practice. So, before making such a responsible decision, parents should definitely talk with a pediatrician, learn all the advantages and disadvantages of an anti-diphtheria injection and draw the right conclusions. After all, they will depend on the health and future life of the baby.

Watch the video: Defender Series OPV Features & Benefits (November 2019).

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