Who should get the Tdap vaccine?

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The Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine is recommended for everyone 11 years and older, including pregnant women and adults 65 and older. The preferred time to get Tdap is at 11 or 12 years of age. Teens who didn't get Tdap as a preteen should get one dose the next time they visit their doctor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults 19 years of age and older who didn't get Tdap as a preteen or teen should also get one dose of Tdap.

The CDC recommends only one dose of Tdap for most people 11 years and older. Currently, the only group that CDC recommends get more than one dose of this vaccine is pregnant women, who should get the vaccine each time they are pregnant (preferably between the 27th and 36th week of pregnancy).

If you aren’t up-to-date with Tdap, getting vaccinated at least two weeks before coming into close contact with a baby is especially important. These two weeks give your body enough time to build up protection against pertussis (whooping cough).

You can get Tdap no matter when you got your last tetanus shot.

(The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the U.S. government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.)
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, also called Tdap, is a one-time vaccine given in lieu of a simple Td booster, followed by a Td booster every 10 years. It's for everyone ages 19 to 65. If you're older than 65, whether you need Tdap or Td depends on if you are in contact with an infant. The CDC also has recommended that women receive the Tdap during each pregnancy to protect themselves and their babies. Ask your doc.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.