Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) vaccine can protect infants, adolescents and adults against three serious diseases.

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are all caused by bacteria. Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches, animal bites, or wounds.

  • TETANUS (Lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to "locking" of the jaw so the victim cannot open his mouth to swallow.
  • DIPHTHERIA causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.
  • PERTUSSIS (Whooping Cough) causes severe coughing spells, vomiting, and disturbed sleep. It can lead to weight loss, incontinence, rib fractures, pneumonia, and hospitalization due to complications.

  • Who should get the TDaP vaccine and when?

  • Adolescents 11 through 18 years of age should get one booster dose of Tdap.
  • Adults age 19 and up should substitute Tdap for one booster
  • The CDC recommends pregnant women get the whooping cough vaccine between 27 and 36 weeks of each pregnancy, preferably during the earlier part of this time period. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Nurse-Midwives support this recommendation.
  • Healthcare workers who have direct contact patient contact in hospitals or clinics should get a dose of Tdap.
  • Adults who expect to have close contact with an infant younger than 12 months of age should get a dose of Tdap.
  • An adolescent or adult who gets a severe cut or burn might need protection against tetanus infection. Tdap may be used if the person has not had a previous dose.

  • Who should not get TDaP?

  • Anyone who has had a allergic reaction of any kind to a previous dose of Td.
  • For more details about the TDaP vaccines available, visit