All content below is taken in its entirety from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Tdap Vaccine Information Statement (VIS): www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/tdap.html.
Why get vaccinated?
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 people should get a dose of Tdap during every pregnancy, preferably during the early part of the third trimester, to help 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 of either Tdap or Td (a different vaccine that protects against tetanus and diphtheria but not pertussis) every 10 years, or after 5 years in the case of a severe or dirty wound or burn.
Tdap may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Talk with your health care provider
Tell your vaccination provider if the person getting the vaccine:
In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone Tdap vaccination until 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.
Risks of a vaccine reaction
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.
What if there is a serious problem?
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 vaers.hhs.gov or call 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions, and VAERS staff members do not give medical advice.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
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. Claims regarding alleged injury or death due to vaccination have a time limit for filing, which may be as short as two years. Visit the VICP website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccine-compensation/index.html or call 1-800-338-2382 to learn about the program and about filing a claim.
How can I learn more?
Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Vaccine information statements (VISs): Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine: What you need to know. www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/tdap.html. Updated August 6, 2021. Accessed July 20, 2023.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 7/8/2023
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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