Vaccine protection for pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, and diphtheria fades with time. Therefore, CDC recommends a single dose of Tdap for adults 19 or older who have not previously received a Tdap vaccine. CDC recommends adults receive a tetanus and diphtheria booster (called Td) every 10 years. The easiest thing for adults to do is to get Tdap one time instead of their next regular Td booster. You can get the dose of Tdap earlier than the 10-year mark. Being up-to-date with one dose of Tdap is especially important for adults who are around babies. Remember that even fully-vaccinated adults can get pertussis. If you are caring for babies, check with your healthcare professional about what’s best for your situation.
- Liang JL, Tiwari T, Moro P, et al. Prevention of Pertussis, Tetanus, and Diphtheria with Vaccines in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67(2):1–44.
Resources for Adults
- Page last reviewed: August 7, 2017
- Page last updated: May 8, 2018
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