3 out of 5 Vaccine Boosters is Not Good Enough

by - December 10, 2020

3 out of 5.

If these were the marks for any answer on my question paper back in my college days, I’d say I did a pretty good job. If it was the review score for a movie, I would consider going for it.

Unfortunately, 3 out of 5 is not good enough always. As a doctor, one of the scenarios where it can be devastating is, in fact, for parents of young children. 

I am referring to the DTP vaccine, of course. 

Understand the reason why you need all 5 booster doses of DTP

Most of you already know that this vaccine that takes on three life threatening diseases (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) consists of 5 shots. The first three shots are administered to the child within the first 6 months of life. Then after a period of time, we give the remaining two doses at 15 – 18 months and 4 – 6 years respectively.

Having dutifully administered the first 3 doses, we come across many parents who tend to forget as time passes by that they are due for two more doses of the vaccine. Some are aware but choose actively not to bring their child in, assuming that 3 out of 5 is good enough. 

It is not. Not for the DTP vaccines. On the contrary, a delay can have literally fatal implications, both for the child as well as for other children around him or her.

You see, the first three doses of the DTP vaccine help build up protection and immunity against these diseases. The next two doses have a different role altogether – maintaining that immunity for longer periods of life. Failure to give these last two doses leaves the child without that crucial shield they need against three life threatening diseases. 

In these unique times we live in, the need to administer these doses on time becomes more important. Parents skipping their children’s doses because of their fear to visit a hospital is a reality we are witnessing as doctors, not just in India but across the world.

If and when schools begin for little children as well, we will have a situation where a lot of vulnerable children will be together once more, becoming possible spreaders and victims simultaneously. We have seen outbreaks across India over the last few years, often secondary to misinformation spread against vaccines. We have watched children pass away tragically after contracting these preventable diseases. We cannot allow these cycles to repeat, not in a year like this.

It is a small step but kindly consider doing it - if the children of friends you know (or your children too, for that matter) are in the age group of 4 – 6 years, be a responsible citizen and take a moment to enquire if they have given their child the most important protection he or she will need in the days ahead – their complete vaccine doses. Not 3 but all 5 of them.

Help spread the word, not the disease.
Your child’s DTP booster vaccination is a must. #DontWaitVaccinate and know more about the Right DTP vaccine


The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur India bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.

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  1. I have no idea about this but sure sounds important and essential Doc.

  2. I knew there were 5 doses but I didn't know that it was at such different age groups. I thought they were a given in the first year.

  3. True. Opening schools can actually be really risky if there are kids who haven't taken all doses, can't it?

  4. Parents are delaying or skipping vaccination out of fear.
    Absolutely Regular DTP Booster vaccination is necessary to provide continued immunity to child from infectious diseases. #Dontwaitvaccinate

    1. And that fear is based on unfounded rumors and false and debunked information. If they lived in the time (or place) where children died (die) from these illnesses they'd know just what they need to fear. Not the vaccinations.

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