On July 29, 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Certiva (North American Vaccine, Inc.) as the fourth diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine currently licensed for use in children six weeks to seven years of age in the United States (Table 1).

The Academy recommends that children routinely be immunized with five doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis-containing vaccines before age seven years. In the United States, DTaP vaccines are preferred to vaccines containing whole-cell pertussis (DTwP) because DTaP has fewer side effects than DTwP. Parents prefer acellular pertussis-containing vaccines that are less reactogenic, even if administration requires multiple or additional injections.1

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