5 things to know about the Tdap vaccine

5 things to know about the Tdap vaccine

Vaccinations are commonly in the news and up for debate. But what about the Tdap vaccine? What does it prevent and what should you know about it?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Tdap vaccine protects adolescents and adults from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Generally the first vaccination occurs at the age of 11 or 12 with a booster every 10 years.

The CDC says that prior to vaccines, the US saw nearly 200,000 cases each year of diphtheria and pertussis, with hundreds of tetanus cases. And since the beginning of vaccination, tetanus and diphtheria cases have been reduced by 99 percent and pertussis by nearly 80 percent. Pertussis is again on the rise, in 2012 alone, there were 41,000 cases in the U.S. This is the highest number since 1959.

The CDC recommends that people who have not yet had this vaccine in their lifetime, to receive it as soon as they can.

“The Tdap vaccine is particularly important for people in the health care field and those who are in close contact with babies,” says Donna Currie, the director of clinical outcomes at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Currie says the following are five things everyone should know about this vaccine:

  1. Tdap is a three-in-one vaccination protecting against bacteria that cause tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).
  2. The vaccine does not have a specific timing, as it can be given at any time throughout the year.
  3. The vaccine can be given with other vaccination requirements.
  4. It is advised that during pregnancy, women receive the vaccine to protect the unborn child from pertussis.
  5. The vaccine is inactive and will not cause sickness.

According to the CDC, pertussis results in severe coughing fits that can lead to serious illnesses like pneumonia. Diphtheria can cause breathing issues, paralysis, heart failure and even death and tetanus causes painful muscle tightness generally all over the body and can kill one in five people infected.

Currie recommends talking to your physician if you have any questions about the vaccine.

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One Comment

  1. I need to find out if I need this vaccine before end of March. Thanks!

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About the Author

Sarah Scroggins
Sarah Scroggins

Sarah Scroggins, health enews contributor, is the director of social media at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She has a BA and MA in Communications. When not on social media, she loves reading a good book (or audiobook), watching the latest Netflix series and teaching a college night class.