Tetanus & Diphtheria & Pertussis

Protect Yourself with Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis Vaccine!

Tetanus (lockjaw) is a serious disease that 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 or swallow. Tetanus bacterium is found in dirt, mulch, manure, in your pets intestinal systems and on surfaces that are dirty or rusty. Infection occurs due to a break in the skin surface and leads to death in about 1 in 10 cases. Death can occur in as little as three days from paralysis of the diaphragm, causing inability to breathe.

Diphtheria is an infectious disease spread by infected respiratory droplets transferred from one person to another. It causes a thick covering in the back of the throat and can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.

Pertussis - also known as whooping cough - is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although it initially resembles an ordinary cold, whooping cough may eventually turn more serious, particularly in infants. Whooping cough is most contagious before the coughing starts.

The best way to prevent all three of these potentially deadly diseases is with TdaP vaccine.

There are four combination vaccines used to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis: DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td. Two of these (DTaP and DT) are given to children younger than 7 years of age, and two (Tdap and Td) are given to older children and adults.

Infants and children should get 5 doses of DTaP, one dose at each of the following ages: 2, 4, 6, and 15-18 months and 4-6 years. DT does not contain pertussis, and is used as a substitute for DTaP for children who cannot tolerate pertussis vaccine.

SHOTS, etc. does not administer regularly scheduled childhood vaccinations for Tetanus/diphtheria or pertussis. SHOTS, etc. will administer booster doses to adolescents and adults or a series of 3 doses to those who have never received the primary series.

Td is a tetanus-diphtheria vaccine given to adolescents and adults as a booster shot every 10 years, or after an exposure to tetanus under some circumstances.

Tetanus/Diphtheria boosters are recommended every ten years for all adults, whether you step on a rusty nail or not! Tetanus is found in the soil, our pets and all around us and can be deadly. All adults and adolescents should take a booster that also contains Pertussis vaccine once, then the regular TD every ten years.

Tdap is similar to Td but also containing protection against pertussis. A single dose of Tdap is recommended for adolescents 11 or 12 years of age, or in place of one Td booster in older adolescents and adults age 19 through 64. Tdap is recommended for all new parents and those persons expecting to be around an infant under 12 months of age. This includes expectant parents, grandparents, siblings and caregivers, as well as caregivers and household contacts of anyone with a weakened immune system. Expectant mothers must wait until immediately after delivery to receive the Tdap vaccine. Since Pertussis protection was only recently added to the Td booster, most adults have not been vaccinated against Pertussis; therefore, if it has been at least two years since a Td booster, it is recommended that everyone receives a dose of the Tdap vaccine, especially before contact with those considered vulnerable.

If you are traveling outside of the U.S , visit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/content/vaccinations.aspx for more specific information related to Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis vaccine and other information you need before you travel.

Most of the above information was taken from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/tetanus/default.htm#vacc

For more specific information, refer to the Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) found at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-td-tdap.pdf