Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis Vaccine for Adults
When Should Adults Be Vaccinated With Tdap? continued...
You may be given the Tdap vaccine if you have a severe cut or burn and have never received a dose before. Severe cuts or burns raise your risk for tetanus.
The Tdap vaccine can be given any time of the year. Only one shot is needed. It may be given with other vaccinations. Tdap can be given regardless of the interval since the last Td vaccine was given.
The Tdap vaccine can be used safely for those age 65 and over, according to 2013 CDC recommendations.
Who Needs a Booster Shot?
Tdap is given only once during your lifetime. However, you need routine booster shots of the Td vaccine every 10 years to adequately protect you against tetanus and diphtheria.
Who Should Not Get the Vaccine?
You should not receive the vaccine if you have had:
- A serious allergic reaction to any of the vaccine ingredients in the past
- A coma or seizures within a week of receiving childhood vaccinations for pertussis (such as DTaP), unless the vaccine was not the cause; Td can be used in these cases.
If you have had any of the following, talk to your doctor about whether the Tdap or Td vaccine is right for you:
Epilepsy or another nervous system problem
- Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)
- A history of severe swelling or pain after receiving a pertussis, tetanus, or diphtheria vaccination in the past
- If you are moderately to severely ill (your doctor may recommend waiting to get the shot until after you recover); the CDC says you can still get the vaccine if you have a mild illness, such as a cold or low-grade fever.
What Are the Side Effects and Risks of Tdap and Td?
Like all medicines, vaccines can have side effects. However, the chance of a life-threatening reaction is small. The CDC says the dangers of developing pertussis, tetanus, or diphtheria far outweigh the risks of vaccination.
Mild side effects of Tdap may include:
- Pain, redness, or swelling in the arm where the shot was given
- Mild fever
- Stomach upset, including nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Muscle aches and pains
- Swollen glands