Vaccine - Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis - TdaP

This is a vaccine that decreases your risk of getting tetanus, diphtheria or pertussis.

This is a vaccine that decreases your risk of getting tetanus, diphtheria or pertussis.

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are three bacterial illnesses that have potentially serious complications. Due to the widespread use of the Tdap vaccine (and other variations of this vaccine) these illnesses are not as common as they used to be.

Tetanus (lockjaw) is characterized by painful muscle spasms that can spread throughout the body. (Muscle spasms in the jaw produce the classic "lockjaw.") The spasms can lead to muscle tears or broken bones. Other symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Fast or irregular heart beat

Severe complications include airway obstruction, respiratory arrest, heart failure, pneumonia, brain damage due to lack of oxygen during spasms and death.

Diphtheria is characterized by:

  • Fever
  • Cough, sore throat and hoarseness
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Throat swelling with difficulty breathing and swallowing

Severe complications are due to the toxins made by the bacteria. They include inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), paralysis, kidney damage and death.

Pertussis (whooping cough) is characterized by:

  • Cold symptoms
  • Slight fever
  • Mild cough that progresses to episodes of severe coughing that often end with a "whoop." The cough may be forceful enough to cause problems such a bruising, nosebleeds and broken ribs.

Complications may include pneumonia, dehydration, ear infections, seizures and death. Severe symptoms and complications are more common in infants younger than age 1.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children get the Tdap between eleven and twelve years of age, if they have not already had it. It's also recommended for:

  • Adults, one time
  • Pregnant women during each pregnancy, preferably between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy

The Tdap vaccine protects against the same diseases as the DTaP vaccine, but it is given to different age groups at different times.

  • If you have a moderate to severe illness, check with your healthcare provider before you receive the vaccine.
  • You should not receive the vaccine at all if you have a serious allergy or reaction to any of the components of the vaccine.
  • You should also not receive the vaccine if you had a brain or nervous system disorder within a week after receiving a previous dose of the vaccine. (Unless it was determined the disorder was caused by something other than the vaccine.)

You should contact your healthcare provider if you or your child are not up to date on your Tdap vaccine. Here is a list of questions you can ask about the vaccine.

  • Do you recommend this vaccine for me or my child, and why?
  • Does this vaccine need boosters, and when?
  • What are the side effects of this vaccine?
  • What are the risks if we do not get the vaccine?


Also known as:

Vaccine Tetanus
Vaccine TdaP
Vaccine Pertussis
Vaccine Diptheria
Vaccine - Tetanus
Pertussis - TdaP
Tetanus Vaccine
Tetanus Shot
Tetanus Immunization
TdaP Vaccine
TdaP Shot
TdaP Immunization
Pertussis Vaccine
Pertussis Shot
Pertussis Immunization
Immunization Tetanus
Immunization TdaP
Immunization Pertussis
Immunization Diphtheria
Diphtheria Vaccine
Diphtheria Shot
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