Tdap, DTaP & Td

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To read the Vaccine information statements:

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What you need to know: 

Tdap and Dtap stand for Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Whooping Cough)

TETANUS (Lockjaw) is rare in the United States today. It causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness, usually all over the body.

  • It can lead to tightening of muscles in the head and neck so you can’t open your mouth, swallow, or sometimes even breathe. Tetanus kills about 1 out of 10 people who are infected even after receiving the best medical care.

  • Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches, or wounds and is caused by bacteria.

DIPHTHERIA is also rare in the United States today. It can cause a thick coating to form in the back of the throat.

  • It can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, paralysis, and death.

  • Diptheria is spread from person to person through bacterial secretions from coughing or sneezing. 

PERTUSSIS (Whooping Cough) causes severe coughing spells, which can cause difficulty breathing, vomiting, and disturbed sleep.

  • It can also lead to weight loss, incontinence, and rib fractures. Up to 2 in 100 adolescents and 5 in 100 adults with pertussis are hospitalized or have complications, which could include pneumonia or death.

  • Pertussis is spread from person to person through bacterial secretions from coughing or sneezing. *

The CDC recommends diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccination across the lifespan. Children younger than 7 years of age receive DTaP or DT, while older children and adults receive Tdap and Td. **

Common side effects of the Tdap vaccination include: 

Mild problems following Tdap:
(Did not interfere with activities)

  • Pain where the shot was given (about 3 in 4 adolescents or 2 in 3 adults)

  • Redness or swelling where the shot was given (about 1 person in 5)

  • Mild fever of at least 100.4°F (up to about 1 in 25 adolescents or 1 in 100 adults)

  • Headache (about 3 or 4 people in 10)

  • Tiredness (about 1 person in 3 or 4)

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache (up to 1 in 4 adolescents or 1 in 10 adults)

  • Chills, sore joints (about 1 person in 10)

  • Body aches (about 1 person in 3 or 4)

  • Rash, swollen glands (uncommon)

Moderate problems following Tdap:
(Interfered with activities, but did not require medical attention)

  • Pain where the shot was given (up to 1 in 5 or 6)

  • Redness or swelling where the shot was given (up to about 1 in 16 adolescents or 1 in 12 adults)

  • Fever over 102°F (about 1 in 100 adolescents or 1 in 250 adults)

  • Headache (about 1 in 7 adolescents or 1 in 10 adults)

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache (up to 1 or 3 people in 100)

  • Swelling of the entire arm where the shot was given (up to about 1 in 500).

Severe problems following Tdap:
(Unable to perform usual activities; required medical attention)

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

Problems that could happen after any vaccine:

  • People sometimes faint after a medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting, and injuries caused by a fall. Tell your doctor if you feel dizzy, or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.

  • Some people get severe pain in the shoulder and have difficulty moving the arm where a shot was given. This happens very rarely.

  • Any medication can cause a severe allergic reaction. Such reactions from a vaccine are very rare, estimated at fewer than 1 in a million doses, and would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.

As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death. *

Call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 800-232-4636 or visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines for more vaccine information.

If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

References

The majority of the information on this page was taken from the CDC website and immunize.org no copy right infringement is intended, only the ease of access and sharing of medical information.

*“Vaccine Information Statement.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Apr. 2019, www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/tdap.html.

**“Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Vaccine Recommendations.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Jan. 2020, www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/dtap-tdap-td/hcp/recommendations.html.