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Get your Tdap vaccine today

The Tdap vaccine helps prevent tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). Age and state restrictions apply.

Important information about Tdap

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), previously vaccinated adults should receive a Tdap or Td (a different vaccine that protects against tetanus and diphtheria but not pertussis) vaccine every 10 years. Adults who have not previously received a Tdap vaccine should get the Tdap over the Td for the first dose.

What you should know about Tdap

Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough)

  • Tetanus (T) (sometimes called “lockjaw”) infections are caused by a certain strain of bacteria that can be found everywhere in the environment, including soil, dust and manure.
  • Diphtheria (d) is a highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract or skin that spreads from person to person.
  • Pertussis (ap) (or “whooping cough”) is a highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract.

It helps protect against serious illness

Tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds, while diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) are contagious diseases transmitted between people. The Tdap vaccine can help prevent tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

Adolescents and adults

For those not fully vaccinated with DTaP, the CDC recommends:

  • Adolescents ages 11 to 12 years should receive a Tdap vaccine as a single dose.
  • Patients ages 13 to 18 who missed getting a Tdap vaccine by age 12 should receive a single Tdap dose.
  • After their first dose, patients should continue to receive a Td or Tdap vaccine for routine booster immunization every 10 years.
  • For recommendations on how to protect pregnant individuals and babies, visit the vaccines during pregnancy page.

The CDC recommends that pregnant individuals receive the Tdap vaccine

Pregnant individuals should receive a Tdap vaccination  early in the third trimester during every pregnancy. The Tdap vaccination provides the baby with antibodies to help protect against pertussis (whooping cough) until they're old enough to get vaccinated.

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Tdap is an acronym created from the initials of the diseases that the vaccine helps protect against: tetanus (T), diphtheria (d) and acellular pertussis (ap) (or “whooping cough”). The Tdap vaccine is for use in most adolescents and adults only. A different vaccine, DTaP, is used with infants and children for these conditions.

  • Tetanus: Patients infected with tetanus often experience a painful tightening of their muscles and may be unable to open their mouth and may have difficulty swallowing. They may also experience other symptoms such as seizures, fever, headache and muscle stiffness in the neck. Infections occur when these bacteria enter your body through broken skin.
  • Diphtheria: This disease can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets or from touching infected sores or ulcers. A respiratory infection can lead to a feeling of weakness, a sore throat, fever and swollen glands in the neck. If the toxin gets into the bloodstream, it may cause heart, nerve and kidney damage.
  • Pertussis (or “whooping cough”): In its early stages, whooping cough may appear similar to the common cold. One to two weeks after the first symptoms start, people with whooping cough may develop paroxysms — rapid, violent and uncontrolled coughing fits. These coughing fits usually last one to six weeks but can last for up to 10 weeks. Coughing fits generally get worse and become more common as the illness continues. Infants and young children are most at risk for developing life-threatening complications.

Before receiving a Tdap vaccine, talk to your health care provider if you:

  • Had an allergic reaction, severe pain or swelling after a previous shot of any vaccine that protects against tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough, or to a part of the vaccine
  • Have any severe, life-threatening allergies to any vaccine component
  • Had a coma, decreased level of consciousness or prolonged seizures within seven days after a previous shot of any whooping cough vaccine
  • Have seizures or another nervous system problem
  • Have ever had Guillain-Barré syndrome (also called “GBS”)
  • Are moderately to severely ill

  • Side effects may include pain, redness or swelling where the shot was given; mild fever; headache; feeling tired; and nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or stomachache.
  • As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing an severe allergic reaction, other serious injury or death. Such reactions, however, are very rare.
  • If you are experiencing any serious reactions to the vaccine, please seek immediate medical attention.

Medicare Part B covers preventive care vaccines for flu, COVID-19, pneumonia and hepatitis B at no cost. Medicare Part D covers preventive care vaccines for shingles, RSV and Tdap at no cost. Certain other vaccines, such as vaccines used for treatment purposes or vaccines not recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), may be covered with cost sharing. Visit to learn more.

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Visit the CDC website for the latest information on vaccinations and immunizations for you and your family.