Diphtheria, Tetanus & Whooping Cough Vaccines

Vaccines to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough) have, in rare cases, been linked to serious side effects, including brain damage, coma, seizures, severe allergic reactions, and more.

Contact a Vaccine Injury Lawyer Today

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is investigating vaccine injury claims on behalf of individuals who suffered serious complications and side effects following administration of vaccines to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (DTP, DTaP, Tdap, and Td vaccines).

To learn more, please contact our office by calling (888) 994-5118.

Vaccines to Prevent Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough

The DTP and DTaP combination vaccines are indicated to prevent three serious illnesses:

  • Diphtheria: A contagious bacterial infection that, in severe cases, causes a thick grey or white patch to form on the throat and obstruct breathing. Diphtheria can also lead to paralysis, heart failure, and death.
  • Pertussis: Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly-contagious bacterial disease characterized by violent and uncontrollable fits of coughing. While pertussis can affect people of any age, it can prove especially deadly for children under the age of 1.
  • Tetanus: Also known as “lockjaw”, tetanus is a bacterial infection characterized by intense muscle spasms that usually starts in the jaw and progress to the rest of the body. Other symptoms may include fever, sweating, headache, trouble swallowing, high blood pressure, and a fast heart rate. The bacteria that causes tetanus is found in soil, saliva, dust, and manure. It usually enters the body through a break in the skin, such as a cut or puncture wound by a contaminated object.

The DTP vaccine contains whole cells of the bacteria that cause whooping cough. It was replaced with the DTaP vaccine in 2004 due to safety concerns.

The DTaP vaccine is given to infants and young children in a series of five shots ─ at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months, and again at 4 to 6 years of age.

The Tdap vaccine has also been approved to protect adolescents and adults from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. One dose of Tdap is routinely given at age 11 or 12.

Another vaccine, called Td, protects against tetanus and diphtheria, but not pertussis. A Td booster should be given every 10 years.

Side Effects Associated with Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough Vaccines

Rare side effects associated with diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough vaccines include:

National Vaccine Compensation Program

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) provides compensation to those who have been hurt by certain covered vaccines, including DTP, DTaP, Tdap, and Td vaccines.

Under the NVICP’s guidelines, a vaccine injury is presumed to be covered if:

  • The injury meets the definition included in the program’s Vaccine Injury Table.
  • The first symptom of the condition occurred within the time period specified by the table.

Covered injuries related to diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough vaccines include:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Brachial neuritis
  • Encephalopathy or encephalitis

If an injury does not appear in the Table or does not meet the Table requirements, claimants must present expert witness testimony, medical records, medical opinions, or other evidence proving that the vaccine caused the injury and/or condition.

 Arrange for Your Free Legal Review

Victims of vaccine-related injuries following administration of  DTP, DTap, Tdap, or Td vaccines may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Past and future medical bills

To discuss filing a diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough vaccine lawsuit with a member of Bernstein Liebhard LLP’s legal team, please call our office today at (888) 994-5118.

  1. CDC (2016)” Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know.” https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/dtap-tdap-td/public/index.html
  2. HRSA (2018) “National Vaccine Compensation Program” https://www.hrsa.gov/vaccine-compensation/index.html
  3. HRSA (2017) “Covered Vaccines” https://www.hrsa.gov/vaccine-compensation/covered-vaccines/index.html
Last Modified: July 11, 2018

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