The Tdap vaccine is a combination booster shot. It provides protection against 3 diseases – tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
The vaccine can be given for adults and older children. The Tdap vaccine provides protection to adults from whooping cough which can be incapacitating and continue for months. It also provides protection to young infants who are not yet given vaccination against whooping cough.
Who should receive the vaccine?
Among adults, it is recommended to receive a shot of the Tdap vaccine instead of the next Td booster if:
- Not given the Tdap vaccine
- Could not recall if given the Tdap vaccine
The booster is typically given every 10 years with a single shot in the upper arm.
The vaccine must be given before the 10-year interval if:
- Engaging in close contact with infants younger than 12 months. It is recommended to receive a shot at least 2 weeks before handling a new baby
What are the possible side effects?
The reported side effects of the Tdap vaccine are generally mild and settle on their own.
Some of the mild to moderate side effects might include:
- Mild pain, swelling or redness at the site of the shot
- Body aches
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Swelling of the arm where the vaccine was administered
Any severe issues after receiving the vaccine rarely occur but might include the following:
- Significant pain, swelling or bleeding in the arm where the shot was administered
- High fever
- Indications of an allergic reaction in just a few minutes to hours of receiving the vaccine such as hives, difficulty breathing, swollen face or throat, dizziness and rapid heart rate
The allergic reactions to the vaccines are considered rare.