Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccines

Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccines

Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccines

Boy being vaccinatedWhy are these vaccines important?

  • Tetanus – causes painful muscle contractions and lockjaw
  • Diphtheria – can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, and paralysis
  • Pertussis (whooping cough) causes uncontrollable coughing

How do I know these vaccines are safe?

  • The Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System (VAERS) is a system used to monitor the effects of vaccines to ensure safety.
  • No unexpected health concerns have been found from the Tdap vaccine in adolescents, adults, adults over 65 years old or pregnant women (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020).

Vaccine Schedule

  • First dose at 11-12 years of age
  • Pregnant women should receive a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy
  • Adults who have never received a dose should get a Tdap vaccine
  • Adults should receive a booster Tdap (or Td) vaccine every 10 years

Common Side Effects

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Injection site pain/swelling/redness
  • Nausea or diarrhea

Talk to your doctor about if the Tdap is right for you if…

  • You have a history of seizures or other nervous system problems
  • You have a history of side effects after vaccines
  • You are not feeling well the day of the scheduled vaccine
  • Developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome after a previous Tdap dose
  • You have a history of severe pain after Tdap doses