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Can adults have allergic reactions to Tdap or Td vaccines?

ANSWER

Although it's rare, someone may have a severe allergic reaction to an ingredient in the Tdap or Td vaccine. This generally happens in fewer than one in a million doses. Most of the time, such reactions occur within a few minutes of receiving the vaccine. The following can be signs of a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis:

Seek immediate medical care if you notice any of these signs after receiving the Tdap or Td vaccines.

  • Behavioral changes
  • Breathing difficulty, including wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Hoarse voice
  • High fever
  • Hives
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Weakness

SOURCES:  

CDC web site: "Possible Side Effects of Vaccines" and "Tetanus, Diphtheria (TD), or Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine. What You Need To Know."

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Types of Vaccines."

Immunization Action Coalition: "Ask the Experts: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis" and "Pertussis Vaccine."

World Health Organization web site: "Diphtheria."

CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 30, 2017

SOURCES:  

CDC web site: "Possible Side Effects of Vaccines" and "Tetanus, Diphtheria (TD), or Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine. What You Need To Know."

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Types of Vaccines."

Immunization Action Coalition: "Ask the Experts: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis" and "Pertussis Vaccine."

World Health Organization web site: "Diphtheria."

CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 30, 2017

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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