What is the diphtheria and tetanus vaccine?

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The tetanus-diphtheria vaccine, also known by the acronym Td, is for adults, and the diphtheria-tetanus vaccine, also known by the acronym DT, is for children. Both are used for immunizing against diphtheria and tetanus infections. The concentration of the tetanus toxoid is the same in both, but the concentration of the diphtheria toxoid is lower in the adult vaccine. Diphtheria infection causes release of a toxin that causes a thick coating to develop in the respiratory tract leading to breathing problems and, in later stages of infection, heart failure and death. Tetanus infection causes release of a toxin that causes severe muscle contractions especially in the head and neck. The Td vaccine is given to people over seven years of age, and should be renewed with a booster shot every 10 years. The DT vaccine is given to children. DT and Td are available through a doctor's office or clinic, by prescription only.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.