Does DTaP vaccine cause brain damage?

DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) vaccine can help protect children from diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Most children who receive the DTaP vaccine will be protected throughout childhood, but many more would contract the disease if we were to stop vaccinating. In fact, getting diphtheria, tetanus, or pertussis is much riskier than getting the DTaP vaccine.


However, a vaccine, just like any medicine, can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions, but the risk of the vaccine causing serious harm or death is extremely small. Some of the severe problems include severe allergic reactions (i.e., anaphylaxis), long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness, and permanent brain damage. Fortunately, the instances of someone developing permanent brain damage from the DTaP vaccine are so rare that it’s hard to tell if it was even caused by the vaccine.

While brain damage from DTaP vaccines is an extremely rare complication, if a serious allergic reaction occurs, seek medical care as soon as possible.

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