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Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis, and even death. Vaccines are recommended for infants, children, teens and adults to prevent diphtheria.

Diphtheria Vaccination

  • Diphtheria Vaccines: What You Need to Know
    View a one-page CDC vaccine information statement for each vaccine that protects against diphtheria (DTaP, Tdap, and Td) to learn who should get each and when.
  • Diphtheria Vaccine Basics
    This webpage offers comprehensive information about diphtheria vaccines and other educational tools.
  • Vaccine Safety
    As with all vaccines, there can be minor reactions after getting a diphtheria vaccine, including pain and redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue, or discomfort.
  • Diphtheria Vaccine Recommendations
    View recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.


Kid-friendly Fact Sheet

Diphtheria character This resource provides information about the disease villain known as diphtheria.


Diphtheria Photos

Corynebacterium diphtheriae bacteria Photos of the bacterium that causes diphtheria and images of people with the disease.