Why receive the Tdap vaccine? (tetanus, diptheria, acellular pertussis)
This immunization protects against lockjaw (extreme muscle stiffness), diptheria ( a coating which can block the back of the throat), and whooping cough (which can cause severe coughing, vomiting, pneumonia and death). The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices states that adults 19 years and older should receive a single dose of Tdap vaccine if they have not received one as an adolescent, usually 11-12 years old. This can replace the next every 10 year Td booster dose. The vaccine is especially important to receive if you will be around babies younger than 12 months. Whooping cough in babies can be dangerous. A pregnant woman should receive the Tdap vaccine between 27-36 weeks of gestation every pregnancy. This will optimize antibody transfer to the infant.
The incidence of tetanus and diptheria has dropped 99% since the development of this vaccine. While whooping cough disease has decreased, there is a recent resurgence of outbreaks. Immunity wanes 4-7 years after having had the disease or after being immunized.