Common side effects of a DTap vaccine are generally mild and include soreness or swelling at the site of the shot, fever, fussiness, tiredness and vomiting, according to WebMD. Side effects normally pass quickly and occur one to three days after the vaccine is administered.
Caretakers can give a child an aspirin-free pain reliever within 24 hours after the shot to relive pain and control fever, sttes WebMD. Serious side effects and complications of DTap vaccines are extremely small while the risk of a child contracting a serious illness, such as pertussis or diphtheria, without a vaccine is very high. Less than one in a million patients experience an allergic reaction, with symptoms that may include hives, wheezing, hoarseness, weakness, dizziness, rapid heart beat and difficulty breathing. A reaction generally occurs within several minutes to several hours of the vaccine administration.
Rare complication, such as lowered consciousness, coma, long-term seizures and brain damage, have also been recorded, but their extreme rarity makes it difficult for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine whether the DTap vaccine is the actual culprit, as stated by WebMD. The effect of the vaccine gradually wears off over time, so individuals should receive a booster shot for tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years after the initial vaccination.