Diphtheria First Choice for Pediatric Immunization: A Short Quiz

“Hit me with your best shot!” I hear a variation of that phrase every month when the parents of a 2-month-old infant decide to split up the vaccines due at that visit and say they want to get the “best shot” first. I do my best to discourage this but am not always successful. At the 2-month visit at our office we will give Pediarix (DTaP, IPV, Hep B), Prevnar, and Hib shots along with an oral rotavirus vaccine. Which of these is the “best” vaccine to administer first? My choice would probably be diphtheria—a disease few American physicians have ever seen. Let's see what you know about the disease and the vaccine.

1. Which of the following statements about diphtheria is FALSE?