This vaccine helps prevent:

  • Diphtheria—which causes a sore throat associated with a thick covering in the back of the throat
  • Tetanus— which causes painful muscle tightening all over the body; also known as lockjaw
  • Pertussis— which causes bad coughing spells that make it difficult for infants to eat, drink, and breathe; also known as whooping cough

The DTaP vaccine is composed of diptheria and tetnus toxoids that can create an antitoxin, and small pieces of killed (acellular) pertussis bacteria.