Tdap is a vaccine for three bacterial diseases i.e. Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. These diseases can be life-threatening and this vaccine helps in the prevention of these diseases.
Before knowing about vaccine we must have a little look at what these diseases can do to human life.
A simple wound or scar can give way to enter this life-threatening bacteria into our body. This bacteria is harmful enough to cause severe damage to our brain and nervous system. In tetanus, the patient gets muscle spasms and most often it affects the jaw muscles causing lockjaw. This disease is fatal enough to kill one out of every five infected people.
Diphtheria is dangerous because it is contagious and can transfer from person to others. This disease is harmful enough to cause severe damage to the heart and nerves. Diphtheria makes breathing difficult.
Pertussis is also a contagious disease and attacks the lungs. It causes respiratory infection which leads to severe breathing problems. You may feel the symptoms of ordinary cold but the infection can get worse causing unstoppable cough. That is why this disease is also called and commonly known as whooping cough.
These diseases were deadly before the introduction of their vaccines. Tetanus and diphtheria have nearly vanished but pertussis still remains till date. Sometimes parents don’t get their child vaccinated and unintentionally cause the spread and survival of the disease. Only young children can receive the vaccine for pertussis.
Tdap vaccine is a vaccine against pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria. It is an inactive vaccine and is made using dead bacteria. Tdap stands for tetanus and diphtheria toxoids with acellular pertussis. The dead bacterias in vaccine do not make you sick and your body recognizes the bacteria.
Tdap vaccine is different from the DTdap vaccine. This vaccine uses the brand names Adacel and boostrix.
Tdap vaccine is recommended for ages 19 and above. This vaccine should be received by
People handling infants. These include parents, family and baby sitters.
Health care workers are in direct contact with patients so this vaccine should be received by them.
Pregnant women also get this vaccine even if she has received it before. This vaccine protects newborn from cough.
New moms who have not received this vaccine previously.
People with travel history to infected areas.
Usually, it is given as a precautionary measure even if there are no symptoms. Tdap vaccine may be given in case of injury if you have not received it before. Cuts, burns, scars or injury can increase the risk of tetanus.
Only one shot of vaccine is enough and a person can get this vaccine at any time of year.
Tdap vaccine can be given along with other vaccines also. People who are above 65 years can also receive the vaccine.
Apart from pregnancies, the tdap vaccine is given once in life but booster shot after every 10 years keeps you safe and protected.
A person should not receive the vaccine if
Allergic to the vaccine.
Got Epilepsy or other nervous system problem.
A person had coma or seizures within a week of receiving the vaccine.
You have any illness that needs you to consult your doctor before receiving the vaccine.
A person have a history of strong allergic reaction like swelling and pain.
You are recently recovered from serious illness.
Tdap vaccine is given during pregnancy to ensure both mother’s and infant’s protection. Whooping cough in infants is common. The first shot of a tdap is given to the baby after two months of birth. Till then a baby needs to be protected so the mother is given a vaccine in the third trimester to ensure the safety of both mummy and child. A woman must receive a vaccine shot in every pregnancy.
Tdap vaccine must be given to women experiencing pregnancy even if she had a vaccine before in her life. This vaccine protects the baby and mother from whooping cough.
This vaccine is given in the third trimester between 27 and 36 weeks gestation period to maximize the antibody response of a mother’s body and transfer of antibodies to the infant.
It decreases the risk of child death from pertussis.
Tdap given during pregnancy is more effective as it provides immunity to infants right after birth.
It saves the mother from transmitting the disease to her child. Even after giving birth, if a mom will not be protected, her child can get this contagious disease from her.
You cannot vaccinate everyone near infant so tdap during pregnancy provides protection to the child.
Although pregnant women can receive a tdap vaccine anytime during pregnancy if she gets injured but giving the vaccine in the third trimester increases the protection. Only one dose is recommended during the whole pregnancy so if a woman gets a vaccine earlier in pregnancy than there is no need for a second dose during pregnancy later on.
All the medicines have side effects. But there is no risk of life from tdap during pregnancy. You can rarely develop the disease from the tdap vaccine. However, the side effects may include
Mild fever which can be reduced with common medicine.
Headache that will be cured on its own with proper rest.
Pain, redness or swelling on the arm which can last up to seven days.
Tiredness and poor appetite
Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
Allergic reactions in rare cases.
In some women, side effects can be more severe than others. These side effects mostly go on their own within a day or two. But if you receive a fever higher than 102° or gets severe swelling in the arm where the vaccine was injected, consult your doctor immediately.
This vaccine is safe for both mother and baby. During pregnancy, a woman can receive the vaccine anytime but having this vaccine in later pregnancy, optimizes passive antibody transfer to the baby and provides the best protection at birth.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is no significant link between the tdap vaccine during pregnancy and autism. The ratio of children with autism was the same in women who were given vaccines and women who didn’t receive a vaccine. There was no significant increase or decrease in either group. So there is no proven fact that the tdap vaccine has something to do with autism.
It is very rare to get allergic reactions after receiving a tdap vaccine but in rare cases, like one in million, this reaction can occur. A severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis can show symptoms like behavioral change, dizziness, high fever, breathing difficulty, rapid heartbeat or hoarse voice. If you get any of the following signs after receiving the tdap vaccine, consult your doctor immediately.