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Alternative NamesTdap immunization
Definition Return to top
The Tdap vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). All of these are serious, potentially deadly illnesses caused by bacteria.
For information on these diseases and their treatment, see the specific article:
Information Return to top
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.
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 is recommended for children around ages 11 – 12. Adults ages 19 – 64 should receive one dose of Tdap as a substitute for the Td vaccine.
If you previously had a 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:
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:
You should not get the Tdap vaccine if you:
Talk to your health care provider before getting the Tdap vaccine if you or your child:
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 will receive a vaccine against diphtheria and tetanus (DT for children and Td for adults).
CALL YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IF:
References Return to top
American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases. Recommended immunization schedules for children and adolescents--United States, 2008. Pediatrics. 2008;121:219-220.
Damlo S. ACIP recommends the use of Tdap in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2007;76:891-892.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule – United States, October 2007-September 2008. MMWR. 2007;56:Q1-Q4.Update Date: 8/10/2008 Updated 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., Inc.