Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis Vaccine

Tdap is a combination vaccine that defends against three possibly life-threatening diseases (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also known as whooping cough). Td is a booster vaccine for diphtheria and tetanus. It does not protect against pertussis.

Tetanus bacteria get inside the body through a wound or cut. It affects the brain and the nervous system and can cause very painful muscle spasms. A common condition that occurs due to jaw spasms is called “Lockjaw” which makes it difficult or impossible to move your mouth. One out of five people with tetanus infection results in death.

Diphtheria is a very contagious infection that causes a thick layer of covering on the back of the throat that can cause difficulty in breathing. In severe cases, it can lead to heart failure and damage to the nervous system.

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a respiratory infection that can lead to severe breathing problems, especially in infants and is extremely contagious. Pertussis first seems like an ordinary cold, but then it is followed by fierce, uncontrollable coughing spells. A “whoop” sound is heard after coughing when the person tries to take a breath.

Adult Dose: One shot of Tdap, if not already received and follow up in 10 years with Td.
ACIP recommends Tdap with each pregnancy.

When Should Adults Be Vaccinated With Tdap?
The Tdap vaccine is recommended by the CDC for all adults from 19 years of age to older, who have yet not received the vaccine, especially:
• Health care staffs who are involved directly with the patients
• People who take care of infants under 1 year old, which includes parents, grandparents, and babysitters
• In their third trimester for pregnant women (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
• Travelers who are visiting countries where pertussis is common
• If you have a severe cut or burn, you may be given the Tdap vaccine. Severe cuts or burns raise your risk for tetanus.
The Tdap vaccine can always be given. Only one shot is needed. It may be given in a combined form with other vaccinations.
The Tdap vaccine can be used safely for those ages 65 and over, according to the 2013 CDC’s recommendations.

Who Needs a Tdap Booster Shot?
Tdap is given only once during your lifetime. However, you may need routine booster shots of the Td vaccine over 10 years to adequately protect you against tetanus and diphtheria.

Who Should Not Get Tdap Vaccine?
You should not get the vaccine if you have had:
• An allergic reaction in the past to any of the vaccine ingredients in a serious manner.
• If caused seizures or coma within a week of getting the vaccine for pertussis during childhood.
If you have had any of the following, you should consult your doctor about which vaccine is right for you: TdaP or Td.
• Epilepsy or another nervous system problem
• Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)
• Severe swelling or pain in the past after receiving pertussis, tetanus, or diphtheria vaccination
• If you are ill (moderate or serious)(your doctor may recommend waiting until you recover to get the shot); the CDC says you can still get the vaccine, if you’re suffering from mild illness such as a common cold or light fever.

Side Effects and Risks of Tdap and Td
Like all medicines, vaccines can have side effects. However, there is only a small chance of a life-threatening reaction. The CDC says the dangers of developing pertussis, tetanus, or diphtheria far outweigh the risks of vaccination.

Mild side effects of Tdap may include:
• Pain, redness, or swelling in the area of the shot was given
• Mild fever
• Headache
• Tiredness
• Stomach upset, including nausea, vomiting, or diarrheaN4uscle aches and pains
• Swollen glands

Mild side effects of Td may include:
• Pain, redness, or swelling in the arm where the shot was given
• Mild fever
• Headache

Allergic Reactions in adults to Tdap or Td Vaccines
Although it’s scarce, some people might have a serious allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the Tdap or Td vaccine. This normally occurs in less than one in a million doses, most of the time, such reactions take place within a few minutes of receiving the shot. The following can be the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, which is called anaphylaxis:
• Behavior changes
• Breathing difficulty, including wheezing
• Dizziness
• Hoarse voice
• High fever
• Hives
• Pale skin
• Rapid heart heat
• Weakness

What is Tetanus?
Tetanus is an infection that is caused by a bacteria called Clostridium tetani which can attack the muscles and nervous system. It is a serious infection that may be fatal in some cases. The bacterium lives in the dirt and soil which may enter your body through a cut or a wound in the skin. The bacteria secrets a toxin that causes the illness.

Even small wounds such as a prick from a thorn can allow enough bacteria to get into the body to cause tetanus. The illness usually takes 7-8 days to develop but can vary from one day to two months.

Side effects
• Pain and redness at the area of injection
• Fever, feeling tired and minor muscle pains occur in less than 10°/o of people.
• Severe allergic reactions may occur in less than one in hundreds of thousands of people.

• The vaccine is postponed if the person has a fever, illness
• Do not take tetanus toxoid if you are allergic to it or any of the other ingredients of this injection.

Drug interaction
• Mycophenolate Mofetil
• Mercaptopurine
• Immune suppressive agent

The tetanus vaccine is actually given combined with other vaccines. There are three types of combination

• For young children, the preschool booster is normally part of combined diphtheria/tetanus/acellular whooping cough (pertussis)/inactivated polio vaccine (DTaP/JPV or DTaP/IPV).
• For children aged less than 10 years, the vaccine is usually part of the combined diphtheria/tetanus/acellular whooping cough (pertussis) inactivated polio vaccine/plus Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP/l PV/H ib).
• For adults and teenagers who receive tetanus immunization, combined tetanus, diphtheria/inactivated polio vaccine (Td/IPV) is normally used.
The vaccine prompts your body to produce antibodies against the tetanus toxin. These antibodies protect you from tetanus infection.

Tetanus Immunization Schedule

All children are offered tetanus immunization as part of the routine immunization program. A full course of tetanus immunization consists of five doses of vaccine as follows:

Children aged under 10 yearsChildren aged over 10 years and adults(who have not been immunized as a child)
Primary DoseThree doses of the vaccine – DTaP / IPV(polio) pre-school booster at 3 years and 4 months to 5 yearsThree doses of vaccine – as Td/IPV (polio), each one month apart
4th DoseThree years after the primary course – as a part pf DTaP / IPV (polio) pre-school booster at 3 years and 4 months to 5 yearsFive years after the primary course – as Td/IPV (polio)
5th DoseAged 13 – 18 years – the school leaver booster – as Td / IPV (polio)10 years after the 4th dose – as Td/IPV (polio)

If your wound or injury is exposed to high risk for tetanus (for example, where there has been significant contact with soil or manure) then an injection of human tetanus immunoglobulin is usually given, regardless of whether you have been immunized against tetanus or not. This gives extra protection against tetanus.
The primary course of three injections gives good protection for a number of years. The fourth and fifth doses (boosters) maintain protection. After the fifth dose, there is no need for any further boosters as the immunity remains for a lifetime.


Who should get the Td Vaccine?

Td is only for children 7 years and older, adolescents, and adults.

Td is usually given as a booster dose every 10 years, or after 5 years in the case of a severe or dirty wound or burn.

Another vaccine, called “Tdap,” may be used instead of Td. Tdap protects against pertussis, also known as “whooping cough,” in addition to tetanus and diphtheria.

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