|Target disease||Corynebacterium diphtheriae|
|ATC code||J07AF01 (WHO)|
|(what is this?)|
Diphtheria vaccine is a vaccine used against Corynebacterium diphtheriae, the agent that causes diphtheria. It use has resulted in a more than 90% decrease in number of cases globally between 1980 and 2000. Three initial doses are recommended after which it is about 95% effective. It is effective for about 10 years at which time a booster dose is needed. Immunization may start at six weeks of age with further doses given every four weeks.
The diphtheria vaccine is very safe. Significant side effects are rare. Pain may occur at the injection site. A bump may form at the site of injection that lasts a few weeks. The vaccine is safe in both pregnancy and among those who have a poor immune function.
The diphtheria vaccine is delivered in several combinations. One includes tetanus toxoid (known as dT or DT vaccine) and another comes with the tetanus and pertussis vaccines, known as DPT vaccine. The World Health Organization has recommended its use since 1974. About 84% of the world population is vaccinated. It is given as a intramuscular injection. The vaccine needs to be kept cold but not frozen.
The diphtheria vaccine was developed in 1923. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most important medication needed in a basic health system. 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. In the United States it is less than 25 USD.
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