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Diphtheria Tetanus And Pertussis Vaccine


The diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine

(Tdap and Td) are the names of shots given to protect you from diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Diphtheria is a severe bacterial infection that causes a thick covering in the back of your mouth and throat. It spreads from person to person. Tetanus is a severe infection caused by bacteria found in dirt, manure, and dust. The bacteria enter the body through open skin, such as cuts and wounds. Tetanus may cause painful muscle spasms and lockjaw. Pertussis (whooping cough) causes periods of rapid coughing with no break. This makes it hard to eat, drink, or breathe. Pertussis spreads from person to person.

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your mouth and throat are swollen.
  • You are wheezing or have trouble breathing.
  • You have chest pain or your heart is beating faster than usual.
  • You feel like you are going to faint.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your face is red or swollen.
  • You have hives that spread over your body.
  • You feel weak or dizzy.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have a headache, body aches, or joint pain.
  • You have nausea or diarrhea, or you are vomiting.
  • You have increased pain, redness, or swelling around the area where the shot was given.
  • You have questions or concerns about the vaccine.

When you should get the Tdap vaccine:

Adults receive 1 dose of Tdap. You should receive the vaccine if:

  • Your vaccine history is incomplete.
  • You completed the DTaP series but have not had a Td booster.
  • You are a healthcare worker.
  • You have close contact with a baby younger than 12 months old. The Tdap vaccine may be given within 2 weeks of the close contact.
  • You have a severe cut or burn.
  • You are 27 to 36 weeks along in your pregnancy.
  • You have just had a baby.

When you should get the Td vaccine:

The Td vaccine is a booster shot that may be given to adults every 10 years. The following are also reasons the booster shot may be given:

  • You have an open wound and it has been at least 5 years since your last Td vaccine.
  • You are pregnant and have received 1 dose of the Tdap vaccine.

If your vaccine history is not known:

You should receive a series of 3 shots. The series is 1 Tdap shot and 2 Td shots. The second shot should be given at least 4 weeks after the first. The third shot should be given at least 6 months after the second.

Who should not get the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine:

Do not get the vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine in the past. Do not get it if you developed encephalopathy within 7 days of your last dose. If you are allergic to latex, ask your healthcare provider if you should get the vaccine.

When you should wait to get the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine:

Wait to get the vaccine or tell your healthcare provider if:

  • You are sick or have a fever.
  • You had low blood pressure or fainted within 2 days of getting the vaccine in the past.
  • You have a brain disorder, epilepsy, or muscle spasms that are not controlled with medicine.
  • You developed Guillain-Barré syndrome within 6 weeks of getting a tetanus vaccine.
  • You had an Arthus allergic reaction after you received any diphtheria or tetanus vaccine. If you had this reaction, you should get the vaccine no more than every 10 years.

Risks of the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine:

The area where the vaccine was given may be red, tender, or swollen. You may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This can be life-threatening.

Apply a warm compress

to the injection area as directed to decrease pain and swelling.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2017 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.