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Patient education: Tdap vaccine (The Basics)

Patient education: Tdap vaccine (The Basics)

What is the Tdap vaccine? — The Tdap vaccine helps prevent 3 different diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. All of the vaccines are given together in 1 shot.

All 3 of these diseases can be serious and even deadly. Diphtheria can cause a thick covering in the back of the throat that can lead to breathing problems. Tetanus is a serious infection that causes muscle stiffness and spasms. Pertussis can cause a severe cough. Another name for pertussis is "whooping cough."

Why should I get the Tdap vaccine? — The Tdap vaccine can help keep you from getting diphtheria, tetanus, or whooping cough. If you do get sick, being vaccinated can keep you from getting severely ill. Being vaccinated also helps keep people around you from getting sick.

Who should get the Tdap vaccine? — The following people should get a Tdap vaccine:

Children age 7 to 18 – Many children get diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough vaccines before age 7. In this case, doctors recommend a "booster" dose of the Tdap vaccine, usually around age 11 or 12 years. A booster vaccine reminds the body how to prevent infection over time. If your child missed the earlier vaccine, they can get a Tdap vaccine whenever their doctor recommends it.

Adults age 19 and older who have never had a Tdap vaccine – This vaccine is especially important for adults age 65 and older who spend time with children younger than 1. These adults include grandparents, child care workers, doctors, nurses, and other health care workers.

The Tdap vaccine is safe to use in pregnancy. All pregnant people should get it after 20 weeks of pregnancy, even if they have had the Tdap vaccine or the pertussis vaccine before.

If you don't know if you have had a Tdap vaccine, your doctor will probably give you one. This vaccine is important and protects you and other people, especially babies. Whooping cough can be very serious for babies and even cause death.

After getting the Tdap vaccine, adults should get vaccines against diphtheria and tetanus every 10 years. These are also given together in 1 shot.

What side effects can the Tdap vaccine cause? — The Tdap vaccine might cause some side effects. If it does, they can include:

Redness, swelling, or soreness where the shot was given

Headache

Tiredness

Fever

Like all vaccines, the Tdap vaccine sometimes causes more serious side effects, such as severe allergic reactions. But serious side effects are rare. If you ever had a severe allergic reaction to latex, tell your doctor or nurse. Some Tdap vaccines contain latex, but others do not.

More on this topic

Patient education: Tetanus (The Basics)
Patient education: Vaccines for adults (The Basics)
Patient education: Vaccines for babies and children age 0 to 6 years (The Basics)
Patient education: Vaccines for children age 7 to 18 years (The Basics)
Patient education: Vaccines and pregnancy (The Basics)
Patient education: Whooping cough (The Basics)

Patient education: Vaccines for adults (Beyond the Basics)
Patient education: Vaccines for children age 7 to 18 years (Beyond the Basics)
Patient education: Vaccines for infants and children age 0 to 6 years (Beyond the Basics)
Patient education: Why does my child need vaccines? (Beyond the Basics)

This topic retrieved from UpToDate on: Jun 02, 2024.
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