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Tdap vaccine

Definition

The Tdap vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). All of these are serious, potentially deadly illnesses caused by bacteria.

See also:

Alternative Names

Tdap immunization

Information

WHO SHOULD GET THIS VACCINE

Tdap is recommended as a booster to the DTaP vaccine in people ages 11 - 64. It is given by a shot (injection), usually into the arm or thigh.

Tdap vaccine should be given to children between ages 11 or 12. Adults ages 19 to 64 should receive one dose of Tdap instead of the Td vaccine, then have Td boosters every 10 years.

If you had the Td vaccine in the last 10 years, ask your doctor if you also need the Tdap vaccine to protect you against whooping cough.

Because this vaccine protects against pertussis, the following people should make sure they are up to date with their Tdap immunization, regardless of age:

  • Adults who are in contact with infants under 12 months (regardless of when you last received a Td vaccine)
  • New mothers who have never received Tdap
  • Health care workers who are in direct contact with patients
  • Pregnant women after 20 weeks of pregnancy

Children and adults who have had a severe cut or burn may need Tdap to protect against tetanus infection.

RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS

Tdap may cause the following mild side effects, which usually last only a few days:

  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Redness or swelling at the injection site
  • Soreness at the injection site

CONSIDERATIONS

You should not get the Tdap vaccine if you:

  • Have had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine
  • Have a severe allergy to any ingredient in the vaccine
  • Went into a coma or had a seizure within 7 days after receiving the DTaP vaccine

Talk to your health care provider before getting the Tdap vaccine if you or your child:

  • Have epilepsy or another nervous system problem
  • Had severe swelling or pain after receiving any vaccination containing tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis
  • Have had Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Have a severe allergy to latex

If you or your child has a moderate or severe illness, you can delay Tdap vaccination until the illness is gone. People with a mild illness can usually still receive the vaccination.

If you cannot take the pertussis vaccine (for example, because of an allergic reaction), you should still receive a vaccine against diphtheria and tetanus (DT for children and Td for adults).

CALL YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You are not sure whether your child should get this vaccine
  • You or your child develops severe symptoms after a vaccination, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, hives, weakness, or dizziness
  • You have questions or concerns about Tdap

NOTE:

Tdap is not the same as DTaP. They both protect against the same diseases, but are given at different times. For information on DTaP, see: DTaP immunization.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0-18 years---United States, 2012. MMWR. 2012;61(5).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommendedadult immunization schedule---United States, 2012. MMWR. 2012;61(4).

Committee on Infectious Diseases. Policy StatementRecommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedules - United States, 2012. Pediatrics. 2012 Feb;129 (2): 385-386.

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Recommended adult immunization schedule: United States, 2012. Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(3):211-217.


Review Date: 2/25/2012
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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