Tdap is a vaccination which combines three potentially deadly diseases known as Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Whooping Cough). These illnesses can be very serious for infants due to their underdeveloped immune system. However, even adolescents and adults are at risk if not vaccinated against these bacterial diseases.
Pertussis is especially important as there has been a rise in cases within the United States due to an increase in diminished immunity over time and lack of immunizations, especially in teens and adults. According to the CDC, over 9,300 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) have been seen in adults in 2012 and nearly 42,000 cases in total, the highest number seen in a single year since 1955.The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported that through Jan. 5, 2014 there had been 18 deaths from whooping cough, most of which involved infants younger than 3 months. Most of these babies contracted the disease from an adult in the home.
Adults, especially those who are around children and pregnant women, should obtain the Tdap vaccination. It is vital for all those caring for infants and children to be vaccinated in order to protect themselves from the disease and most importantly those young lives they care for.
Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough causes uncontrollable coughing spells which can lead to difficulty breathing, weight loss, incontinence, and rib fractures. Pertussis has the ability to cause complications such as pneumonia or death.
“The CDC recommends the Tdap vaccine for all adults age 19 and older who have never received the vaccine, especially:
- Health care workers who have direct contact with patients
- Caregivers of infants under 1 year old, including parents, grandparents, and babysitters
- Pregnant women in their third trimester (ideally 27th through 36th week), even if they have previously received Tdap vaccine; this can protect a newborn from whooping cough in the first months of life.
- New mothers who have never received the Tdap
- People who travel to countries where pertussis is common
You may be given the Tdap vaccine if you have a severe cut or burn and have never received a dose before. Severe cuts or burns raise your risk for tetanus. The Tdap vaccine can be given any time of the year. Only one shot is needed. It may be given with other vaccinations. Tdap can be given regardless of the interval since the last Td vaccine was given.
The Tdap vaccine can be used safely for those age 65 and over, according to 2013 CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommendations.”
For more information and education about Tdap vaccination, please follow this link: