What is the DTaP/IPV Injection?


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DTaP/IPV is one of a number of jabs offered to children in the UK to immunise them against major threats to their health. The childhood immunisation programme is responsible for saving countless lives and preventing the spread of contagious and virulent diseases.

What does the DTaP/IPV vaccine immunise against?

DTaP/IPV is a single injection that immunises against four condition, earning it the nickname ‘the four-in-one’ injection. These disease are:

  • Polio: At one point a disease affecting over 1,000 children a day, polio vaccination schedules have reduced the number of cases to a mere handful, an amazing achievement that has saved countless lives. This vaccine is the IPV (inactivated polio vaccine).
  • Diphtheria: Is caused by a toxin released by the causative bacterium. This vaccine is abbreviated to D/d and is made up of a harmless version of the toxin (called a toxoid) which immunises against the disease.
  • Whooping cough aka pertussis: Another disease that was widespread and extremely contagious before vaccination was introduced, whooping cough affects far fewer people every year than it once did thanks to this vaccine (the acellular pertussis vaccine – aP).
  • Tetanus: Like diphtheria, tetanus is caused by a toxin released by a bacterium. This condition is transmitted through cuts and scrapes, and immunisation is a highly effective method of preventing the disease’s transmission.

Who receives the DTaP/IPV vaccine?

DTaP/IPV is offered to children shortly before they go to school, which is why it is called the pre-school booster. Typically children are given this injection at the age of 3 years and 4 months, and the injection has been shown to provide 99% of recipients with strong and lasting immunity against the relevant diseases.

This injection is a booster shot, meaning that it is given after a series of other vaccines to extend the immunising effect of earlier doses. It is important that children receive all of the necessary doses detailed by the immunisation programme, and if you are unsure about whether or not your child has had the previous necessary doses, your doctor or nurse should be able to tell you based on their vaccination history.


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