Tetanus vaccines are recommended throughout your life. There are four combination vaccines used to prevent tetanus: 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. Several other combination vaccines contain DTaP along with other childhood vaccines.
Upper-case letters in these abbreviations denote full-strength doses of diphtheria (D) and tetanus (T) toxoids and pertussis (P) vaccine. Lower-case "d" and "p" denote reduced doses of diphtheria and pertussis used in the adolescent/adult-formulations. The "a" in DTaP and Tdap stands for "acellular," meaning that the pertussis component contains only a part of the pertussis organism. For more information, see tetanus vaccination.
For Those Getting Vaccinated
- Tetanus Vaccine Basics
Offers comprehensive offers information about pertussis vaccines and other educational tools.
- Td or Tdap Vaccine "What You Need To Know" [66 KB, 2 pages]
This one-page CDC vaccine information statement explains who should get Td or Tdap vaccine and when.
- DTaP Vaccine "What You Need To Know" [58 KB, 2 pages]
This one-page CDC vaccine information statement explains who should get DTaP vaccine and when.
- Vaccine Safety
- Who Should Not Be Vaccinated with DTaP or Td-Tdap?
Clinical Information for Healthcare Professionals
Tetanus references and resources, provider education tools, and materials for patients
- Summary of Vaccine Recommendations
Table of DTaP and Tdap Vaccine Recommendations across the Lifespan
- Clinical Information on Tetanus-Containing Vaccines
- Vaccine Recommendations
- References & Resources
- Provider Education
- Materials for Patients
The National Immunization Survey (NIS) is a large, on-going survey of immunization coverage among U.S. pre-school children (19 through 35 months of age). In conjunction with the NIS, CDC also conducts the NIS-Teen (13 through 17 years of age) and the NIS-Adult.
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