Diphtheria vaccine

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Diphtheria vaccine
Vaccine description
Target disease Corynebacterium diphtheriae
Type Toxoid
Clinical data
MedlinePlus a607027
Routes of
Intramuscular injection
ATC code J07AF01 (WHO)
ChemSpider none
 NYesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Diphtheria vaccine is a vaccine used against Corynebacterium diphtheriae, the agent that causes diphtheria.[1] It use has resulted in a more than 90% decrease in number of cases globally between 1980 and 2000.[2] Three initial doses are recommended after which it is about 95% effective.[2] It is effective for about 10 years at which time a booster dose is needed.[2] Immunization may start at six weeks of age with further doses given every four weeks.[2]

The diphtheria vaccine is very safe.[2] Significant side effects are rare.[2] Pain may occur at the injection site.[2] A bump may form at the site of injection that lasts a few weeks.[3] The vaccine is safe in both pregnancy and among those who have a poor immune function.[3]

The diphtheria vaccine is delivered in several combinations.[4] One includes tetanus toxoid (known as dT or DT vaccine) and another comes with the tetanus and pertussis vaccines, known as DPT vaccine.[2] The World Health Organization has recommended its use since 1974.[2] About 84% of the world population is vaccinated.[5] It is given as a intramuscular injection.[2] The vaccine needs to be kept cold but not frozen.[3]

The diphtheria vaccine was developed in 1923.[6] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most important medication needed in a basic health system.[7] The wholesale price in the developing world of a version that contains tetanus toxoid is between 0.12 and 0.99 USD per dose as of 2014.[8] In the United States it is less than 25 USD.[9]


  1. ^ "MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Diphtheria immunization (vaccine)". Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Diphtheria vaccine" (PDF). Wkly Epidemiol Rec. 81 (3): 24–32. Jan 20, 2006. PMID 16671240. 
  3. ^ a b c Atkinson, William (May 2012). Diphtheria Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (12 ed.). Public Health Foundation. pp. 215–230. ISBN 9780983263135. 
  4. ^ Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. "Diphtheria Vaccination". Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Diphtheria". who.int. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Macera, Caroline (2012). Introduction to Epidemiology: Distribution and Determinants of Disease. Nelson Education. p. 251. ISBN 9781285687148. 
  7. ^ "WHO Model List of EssentialMedicines" (PDF). World Health Organization. October 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Vaccine, Diphtheria-Tetanus". International Drug Price Indicator Guide. Retrieved 6 December 2015. 
  9. ^ Hamilton, Richart (2015). Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2015 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 313. ISBN 9781284057560. 

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