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Top Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

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Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis

Diphtheria is a contagious bacterial infection that affects the upper respiratory system. Tetanus is an infectious disease caused by contamination of a wound from bacteria. Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory system. There are four combination vaccines to prevent these infections. DTaP is given in five doses with one dose each at age 2, 4, 6, 15-18 months and 4-6 years. DT is used as a substitute for children who cannot tolerate the pertussis vaccine. Td is a booster shot for tetanus and diphtheria given to adolescents and adults every 10 years or after an exposure to tetanus under certain circumstances. Tdap is a booster shot for all three infections. The CDC recommends adolescents 11-12 years of age and adults 19-64 years of age receive a single dose of Tdap.

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