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Aster's avatar

Can having a DPT shot make you sick enough to need antibiotics?

Asked by Aster (18143points) June 2nd, 2014

My girlfriend’s friend wanted to visit a new baby in the family but the new mother said anyone wishing to see her had to have a DPT shot first. So she got one and the next day she became sick. She went to the doctor and he put her on antibiotics.
Can a DPT shot make an adult sick or was it a coincidence? She actually called it a “whooping cough” shot.

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11 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

The P is whooping cough (Pertussis). Vaccinations make some people sick/under the weather. So, sick that the doctor put her on antibiotics doesn’t sound right though. Too bad most of our jelly doctors have jumped ship. Maybe Quackwatch knows. I see him around once in a while.

Aster's avatar

I thought he could have put her on antibiotics so it wouldn’t appear to her that a vaccination could make someone sick. In fact, he never admitted it made her sick.
I ignore Quackwatch. Those quacks were sued in court.

snowberry's avatar

How obnoxious! If my relative had insisted I have a DPT shot before I visited her kid, I’d have skipped the “privilege” (and contemplated insisting that SHE have a rabies shot before she visited me)!

JLeslie's avatar

I mean the jelly quackwatch. I’ll send it to him.

Edit: I spelled it incorrectly, it’s quakwatch. I sent the Q to him.

Quakwatch's avatar

There is zero chance the DTaP vaccine caused her to get “sick” (so it is a coincidence) and then require antibiotics. As to whether she needed antibiotics for something else, who knows? But, if we focus on the DTaP vaccine itself, there is nothing in it that is living, and thus even if the DTaP made her feel unwell, it isn’t from a bacterial infection from the vaccine, and thus would not be killed by antibiotics.

Regarding the vaccine, the “D” stands for diptheria and is a bacterial toxoid (an inactivated toxin). The “T” stand for tetanus, and is also a bacterial toxoid. The “aP” stands for acellular pertussis (cause of whooping cough) and is killed pertussis bacteria that are then made acellular. Thus, DTaP, unlike MMR, is not a live or attenuated vaccine.

The interesting thing about DTaP is that the original pertussis vaccine was more effective at inducing immunity, but caused too many local side effects at the injection site. So, the pertussis component was made acellular, which has fewer side effects but also is less effective, which is one of several reasons why were are seeing more cases of pertussis. FWIW, your girlfriend’s friend’s family member made the right decision.

Now, regarding your issue with the original Quackwatch website, it is funny that you would link to Stephen Barrett being sued by Doctor’s Data. Ironically, they are being sued by at least 3 patients. I’m sure Dr. Barrett is glad they sued him, because they will need to prove that their tests are effective in order to prove defamation, which of course they cannot. Linking to Natural News as a source of information is not helping.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks @Quakwatch. I was just discussing with my mom how the pertussis vaccine isn’t very good at creating immunity and the immunity doesn’t last long and hard to test if we have immunity, because according to her they aren’t sure how much you need to be immune? She wasn’t sure if it is a titer, or tested another way, she just had remembered the doctors said it wasn’t worth testing. She had pertussis as a kid, and she wasn’t sure if that gave her lifetime immunity, but I would think it would barring anything unusual happening to her immune system, wouldn’t it?

I had never even heard of the website Quackwatch before this Q.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster Very few vaccines have mercury still, but the anti vaccine people have the general public thinking there is tons of mercury in all of them. It is simply false. Just this alone makes me question anything they say. I am not all gung no about vaccines, I think we are over vaccinated in some cases, but I know for sure I would vaccinate my kid for pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, and several others without blinking an eye. Some maybe are up for grabs in my mind, but the naysayers are so full of crap you should not buy what they sell and do your own research. It is very simple to find out how much mercury is in a particular vaccine if any. People can request vaccines without mercury if that is what they prefer, if that vaccine is available that way. Knowledge is power.

Pertussis for a young child can be deadly. It is horrible. Measles is extremely contagious, extremely, more contagious than others. German Measles if caught by the mother during pregnancy causes birth defects. Polio can be devastating and even deadly. If we can vaccinate and get rid of polio once and for all (that is what the Gates foundation is working towards) then no one else in future generations would need that vaccine at all, similar to what we accomplished with small pox.

Aster's avatar

Do you know for how long vaccinations are effective? Five years? Ten? If only for five or ten then you’d get your kids all of them again every five or ten years, correct?

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster It depends on the particular vaccination. Some are given in a series and given rather close together. Like I think Hep B is a two part series? I am not sure. Others a few years apart. Some a ten years booster is given.

For some of the diseases you can test your immunity. I get my tetanus tested. It’s called a tetanus titer. I had my last tetanus vaccination over 15 years ago and my titer (immunity) is still very high. My mom it has been over 25 years and she still tests immune, my husband about 15 years and his titer also is well above what is necessary to be immune. The thing is, pertussis is thought to wane in immunity quickly, and the only way to get a pertussis vaccine right now is with the combination tetanus vaccine.

However, we still have pretty good pertussis immunity in our population, because of the vaccine. We see outbreaks of it, but it is still relatively rare, it is definitely worth it to continue to vaccinate the population, especially children for that disease. My guess is many adults have not maintained their pertussis boosters, because most don’t get a regular tetanus and pertussis booster is my assumption. Even if someone knows to get a tetanus booster, their doctor might not be giving them the combination.

I also have had my rubella checked fairly recently and my titer is well within being immune, and I have not been vaccinated for that since my MMR as a child. I don’t know if it is common for immunity to stay high for many years for rubella, I only know my own numbers.

I think they believe the HPV vaccine needs to be boosted. I’m not up to date on that information either. Basically, I know general stuff, and for specifics you might want to consult Johns Hopkins websïte, they have a good vaccine pace or the CDC recommendations.

There was a recent report of some Amish going on some mission trip to Asia somewhere where there was a measles outbreak. I guess this group of Amish (maybe all Amish?) don’t vaccinate, and of course many of them got sick and then they boarded a plane and got others sick. Like I said before measles is ridiculously contagious. In my opinion that really was a lack of consideration for the greater population for them to get on a plane until they knew all of them were in the clear. At minimum they should have been wearing masks to protect others, but really on a long plane ride it is such an incubator. I think once home they spread it to others in their community in Ohio. I didn’t read about it, my mom just told me a couple of days ago.

Quakwatch's avatar

That “Dr.” Blaylock is neither a scientist, nor an infectious diseases specialist. He starts his discussion not with science but with a plea that Barack Obama lose to McCain because he will be proved to be a Kenyan. I mean, how can you take him seriously.

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