General Pediatrics Clinic

DTaP and Tdap (Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis)


The diseases

Diptheria is a serious disease of the linings of the upper respiratory tract. About one in ten people who get the disease die of its complications. Medication can help treat it but only immunization can prevent it.

Tetanus occurs when wounds are infected with the tetanus bacteria. These organisms make a poison which causes the muscles of the body to go into spasm. "Lockjaw" is a descriptive term for the symptoms of tetanus. Four out of ten people who get tetanus die from it.

Pertussis or "whooping cough" causes severe spasms of cough which interfere with eating, drinking and breathing. The younger a child is, the more serious the disease.

The vaccine

The vaccine we use is a combination one which covers all three of these diseases. We use a new, more purified form of the DPT vaccine (acellular) that has fewer associated side-effects.

Side effects

  • Soreness, redness or swelling at the site of the injection (50%)
  • Mild fever (50%)
  • Allergic reaction (rare)

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Hepatitis A (HAV)


The disease

Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is found in the stool of persons infected with hepatitis A. It is usually spread by close contact or sometimes by eating food or drinking water containing HAV. It can cause flu like symptoms, jaundice, severe stomach pain and diarrhea. 1 in 5 people with hepatitis A will need to be hospitalized and 3-5 out of 1000 people with hepatitis A will die from it.

The vaccine

The vaccine is given at 15 months with a booster dose at 2 years. The vaccine is also recommended for those traveling to countries with a high prevalence of hepatitis A infection. For travelers it is recommended getting the first dose of the vaccine at least 2 weeks before travel with a booster dose 6 -12 months later.

Side effects

  • Soreness, redness or swelling at the site of the injection
  • Headache
  • Decreased appetite

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HIB (Hemophilus Influenza Type B)


The disease

Hemophilus Influenza Type Bis one of the major causes of serious bacterial illness in young children. Infection with HIB can cause death or serious disabilities.

The vaccine

The HIB vaccine has been shown to be highly effective against diseases caused by HIB.

Side effects

  • Brief fever (1%)
  • Soreness at site of injection (25%)
  • Fussiness (1%)

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HBV (Hepatitis B)


The disease

Hepatitis B is a disease that affects the liver. It can be passed to a child from an infected mother during childbirth. The risk of developing hepatitis is estimated at 5 percent over a lifetime. It can cause tiredness, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and death. Chronic hepatitis B can cause liver failure and liver cancer in adults. Each year 200,000 people get hepatitis B and 4,000 to 5,000 die from it.

The vaccine

The vaccine is given during the first year of life. The vaccine series provides protection against hepatits B in 95 percent of children who receive it.

Side effects

  • Soreness, redness or swelling at the site of the injection
  • Fussiness
  • Mild to moderate fever
  • Allergic reaction (rare)

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HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)


The disease

HPV, Genital human papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. There are about 40 types of HPV. About 20 million people in the U.S are infected with another 6.2 million who will get infected each year.

Most HPV infections don't cause any symptoms and go away on their own. But HPV can cause cervical cancer in women. Cervical cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among women around the world. HPV can cause several less common types of cancer in both men and women. It can also cause genital warts and warts in the upper respiratory tract. There is no treatment for HPV infection, but the conditions it causes can be treated.

The vaccine

HPV vaccine is an inactivated (killed) vaccine that is given to protect against 2 major types of the virus. The vaccine you are getting is one of the two HPV vaccines that can be given to prevent cervical cancer. It is given to females only.

Women will still need cervical cancer screening because the vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV. The vaccine is routinely recommended for girls 11 – 12 years old. It may be given as young as age 9. It is given as a 3 dose series:

1st Dose: today

2nd Dose: 1-2 months after Dose 1

3rd Dose: 6 months after Dose 1

The vaccine is also recommended for girls and women 13-26 years old who did not receive it when they were younger.

Side effects

Some mild side effects can include redness, swelling and pain at the injection site, mild fever, itching at the injection site and moderate fever. These symptoms should not last long and should go away on their own

More information


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There is also an HPV vaccine available for boys that contains 2 types of HPV that cause about 90% of genital warts.  Click here for the CDC's Vaccine Information Sheet on the HPV vaccine approved for boys