DTP vs. DTaP Vaccine

DTP vs. DTaP Vaccine

My daughter recently turned 5 and we took her for her booster dose. Do not miss the Vaccination Chart approved by IAP. My daughter had previously taken DTaP shots and there were no side effects, so I was very happy with the vaccine.

I had been hearing about how those were not available anymore and I thought  my daughter will be given DTP vaccine this time. I had heard of many incidents where children had DTP vaccine and had side effects like fever and leg pain for couple of days, so I was a bit worried. However, I had also heard how DTP is supposed to be more effective and stuff.

I was pleasantly surprised, when her doctor told us that the pentaxim vaccine was not available in market for past 18 months and has come back in market recently. He assured us that DTaP was as effective as DTP vaccine.

No prizes for guessing that we opted for Pentaxim. Thankfully, A did not have any reactions this time too.

This prompted me to revive this article which is one of the most popular on ShishuWorld.



DTP vs. DTap


DTP or DTaP vaccines both stand for 3 diseases – Diptheria, Pertussis (Whooping Cough) and Tetanus. DTP and DTaP differ in pertussis vaccine.

DTP has cellular pertussis vaccine while DTaP contains acellular pertussis vaccine.

DTP has been in use many years, but is also infamous for its side-effects. A lot of kids suffer from high fever, soreness in injection-site and irritability.

The reason pertussis vaccine was associated with fever and irritability was because it was composed of dead version of the bacteria that causes pertussis. The vaccine contained all the parts of the dead bacteria and thus was called the “whole-cell” vaccine. However, researchers soon realized that perhaps a better vaccine would be one that included those parts of the bacteria which allow for the body to become immune but leave out other parts that cause the fever and irritability. This resulted in the development of acellular vaccine. The word acellular describes the fact that this vaccine does not contain the “whole” bacteria cell but rather only the parts of the cell that allow for the body to develop immunity against the disease. So, the name DTP was modified for this acellular vaccine and called the DTaP. The “a” stands for acellular.




DTP vaccine is also called as Easy-five , while DTaP is called as Pentaxim.  Let us see how the two differ :

When you go to the health center to get your baby vaccinated, you will be given an option choose between Easy-five or Pentaxim vaccine. Easy-five and pentaxim both give protection against 5 diseases.




Vaccine name is Easy-five

Vaccine name is Pentaxim

DTP stands for Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertusis

DTaP stands for Diptheria, Tetanus and acellular Pertusis

Easy-five covers Diptheria, tetanus, pertussis ( cellular component), haemophilus Influenza type b and Hepatitis B.

Pentaxim covers Diptheria, Whooping cough , Tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae type b and IPV (injectable polio vaccine).

Protection offered is similar, but DTP has side-effects like fever and irritability

DTaP does not have these side-effects.

DTP is less expensive

DTaP is more expensive.


It is upto you to decide which vaccine to administer depending on all these factors. If you go for Easy-five, baby should be given oral polio vaccine, while in case of pentaxim hepatitis-B vaccine must be administered separately.

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8 Replies to “DTP vs. DTaP Vaccine”

  1. Megha Gopan says:

    Oh yes, I remember the DTaP vaccine (I recognize it by the name PENTAXIMas the paediatrician suggested).I call it a child-friendly vaccine because it has absolutely no side effects.My daughter got the PENTAXIM dosage within 3 months of age.Initially I was scared as I had heard of the soreness and reddish marks associated wit DTP vaccine but since the paediatrician gave us the option and convinced me that DTaP would have no side-effects,we both decided to go for it.It was a bit more expensive than the DTP vaccine but the wellness of our precious little was more important for us!I’m unaware of the booster dosages,will have to check once we go to India. :)Thanks for the post Priya <3

    1. Priya Sachan says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Megha!!

  2. Inga says:

    Hi Priya,

    I would like to ask when did you last vaccinate your child with Pentaxim? I have the first booster and desperately trying to find Pentaxim as we have severe abnormal side effects from painful ones and Pentaxim was the right choice for us. Doctor said there is still huge shortage and we cannot get it. Any idea on the same?

    1. Priya Sachan says:

      Hello Inga, We got our child vaccinated in end of January 2016, 30th I think.
      My doctor told me that it has recently come into market again. You might want to check with your doctor.

      1. Inga says:

        Hi Priya,

        Thanks a lot. I am still trying to find it and it seems to be out of stock! Which city do you come from? I am in Pune and it seems impossible to get it, i have delayed vaccination due to severe complications from painful one and hope that Pentaxim will come soon. Do let me know in case you know anyone in Pune to have the stock…

  3. Satish Narula says:

    Pl tell me the source of Pentaxim availability. I am placed in Panchkula (Haryana).
    I will travel to Delhi or elsewhere to get it.

  4. ankit sinha says:

    we have taken Pentaxim, its available in Kolkata, Fortis Anandpur.

  5. Siva Sankaran S says:

    I have read as per a 2012 research DTP is more effective than DTaP, As DTaP gives less immunity than DTP.

    Indian Academy of Pediatrics also advising to prefer DTP and Go for DTaP only in special circumstances. Commercial interests of Health Industry may influence in convincing parents that Both DTP and DTaP are both equally effective.

    I cannot find What are the special circumstances told by Indian Academy of Pediatrics to go for DTaP. I am in great confusion to decide As our 45 days old little one is high decibel crier.2 days ago his throat get strained .


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