Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are three very serious diseases, and the Tdap vaccine for preteens + adults and the DTap vaccine for children can help protect us from them.
Need to know
- Causes painful muscle stiffness + tightness
- Kills 1 in 10 people who are affected even after receiving the best medical care
- Spread through cuts, scratches, and wounds
- Can cause thick coating to form in the back of the throat
- Also rare in the US
- Spread by person to person contact
- Commonly referred to as "Whooping Cough"
- Causes severe coughing spells, which can lead to difficulty breathing, vomiting, and disturbed sleep
- Spread by person to person contact for up to 2 weeks after infected
Tdap/DTap vs. Td
Tdap and DTap are combination vaccines that protect against tetanus diphtheria, and pertussis. Tdap is routinely administered at the ages of 11 or 12, and adults who have not received it at that age should as soon as possible. DTap is administered to children under the age of 7. Those who receive the DTap vaccine will receive the Tdap vaccine as a booster at 11 years old.
Td is a booster vaccine that protects against tetanus + diphtheria, but not pertussis. You should get your Td booster every 10 years.
Women who are expecting should receive a dose of the Tdap vaccine with every pregnancy to protect their newborn from pertussis. Newborns are typically infected by older siblings, parents, or caregivers.