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Tetanus and Diphtheria Vaccine (Td) and Tetanus Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)Information 


Wellness Services will not provide tetanus vaccines to persons under the age of 16. For persons 16-17 years of age, a parent or legal guardian must be present and will be required to sign a written consent before a tetanus vaccine can be given. Those under the age of16 should visit their personal health care provider to receive a tetanus vaccine.

Benefits of the vaccine
Vaccination is the best way to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Because of vaccination, there are many fewer cases of these diseases. Cases are rare in children because most get DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis), DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis), or DT (Diphtheria and Tetanus) vaccines. There would be many more cases if we stopped vaccinating people.

When should you get the vaccine?

Td and Tdap is made for people 7 years of age and older.

  • Td vaccine has been used for many years. It protects against tetanus and diphtheria.
  • Tdap vaccine was licensed in 2005. It is the first vaccine for adolescents and adults that protects against pertussis as well as tetanus and diphtheria.

A Td booster dose is recommended every 10 years. Tdap is given only once

Which vaccine and when?

Ages 7 through 18 years

  • A dose of Tdap is recommended at age 11 or 12. This dose could be given as early as age 7 for children who missed one or more childhood doses of DTaP
  • Children and adolescents who did not get a complete series of DTaP shots by age 7 should complete the series using a combination of Td and Tdap.

Age 19 years and older

  • All adults should get a booster dose of Td every 10 years. Adults under age 65 who have never gotten a Tdap should get a dose of Tdap as their next booster dose. Adults age 65 and older may get one booster dose of Tdap.
  • Adults (including women who may become pregnant and adults age 65 and older) who expect to have close contact with a baby younger than 12 months of age should get a dose of Tdap to help protect the baby from pertussis.
  • Health care professionals who have direct contact in hospitals or clinics should get one dose of Tdap.

Protection after a wound

  • A person who gets a severe cut or burn might need a dose of Td or Tdap to prevent tetanus infection. Tdap should be used for anyone who has never had a dose previously. Td should be used if Tdap is not available, or for:
    • Anybody who has already had a dose of Tdap
    • Children 7 through 9 years of age who completed the childhood DTaP series, or
    • Adults age 65 and older

Pregnant women

  • Pregnant women who have never had a dose of Tdap should get one, after the 20th week of gestation and preferably during the 3rd trimester. If they do not get Tdap during their pregnancy they should get a dose as soon as possible after delivery. Pregnant women who have previously received Tdap and need tetanus or diphtheria vaccine while pregnant should get Td.

Tdap or Td may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

What are the risks from Td and Tdap vaccines?
As with any medicine, there are very small risks that serious problems, even death, could occur after getting a vaccine. The risks from the vaccine are much smaller than the risks from the disease if people stopped using the vaccine. Almost all people who get Td have no problems from the vaccine.

Mild Problems:
If these problems occur, they usually start within hours to a day or two after vaccination. They may last 1-2 days:

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given, headache, fatigue and mild fever.

These problems can be worse in adults who get Td vaccine very often. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen (non-aspirin) may be used to reduce soreness

Severe Problems:
These problems happen very rarely:

  • Swelling, severe pain, bleeding and redness in the arm where the shot was given.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

McKee Medical Center
2000 Boise Ave.
Loveland, CO 80538
(970) 669-4640
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