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Home > Health Library > Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) Vaccine: What You Need to Know
Tdap vaccine can prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.
Diphtheria and pertussis spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds.
Tdap is only for children 7 years and older, adolescents, and adults.
Adolescents should receive a single dose of Tdap, preferably at age 11 or 12 years.
Pregnant women should get a dose of Tdap during every pregnancy, to protect the newborn from pertussis. Infants are most at risk for severe, life threatening complications from pertussis.
Adults who have never received Tdap should get a dose of Tdap.
Also, adults should receive a booster dose every 10 years, or earlier in the case of a severe and dirty wound or burn. Booster doses can be either Tdap or Td (a different vaccine that protects against tetanus and diphtheria but not pertussis).
Tdap may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:
In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone Tdap vaccination to a future visit.
People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting Tdap vaccine.
Your health care provider can give you more information.
People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.
As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.
An allergic reaction could occur after the vaccinated person leaves the clinic. If you see signs of a severe allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness), call 9-1-1 and get the person to the nearest hospital.
For other signs that concern you, call your health care provider.
Adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your health care provider will usually file this report, or you can do it yourself. Visit the VAERS website at www.vaers.hhs.gov or call 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions, and VAERS staff do not give medical advice.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines. Visit the VICP website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation or call 1-800-338-2382 to learn about the program and about filing a claim. There is a time limit to file a claim for compensation.
Vaccine Information Statement (Interim)
Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) Vaccine
42 U.S.C. § 300aa-26
Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Many Vaccine Information Statements are available in Spanish and other languages. See www.immunize.org/vis.
Muchas hojas de información sobre vacunas están disponibles en español y en otros idiomas. Visite www.immunize.org/vis.
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