Pertussis: Summary of Vaccine Recommendations

For Healthcare Professionals

Summary of DTaP and Tdap Vaccine Recommendations across the Lifespan

Summary of DTaP and Tdap Vaccine Recommendations across the Lifespan
Age/Status Recommendations
Birth through 6 years CDC routinely recommends DTaP at 2, 4, and 6 months, at 15 through 18 months, and at 4 through 6 years.
7 through 10 years CDC routinely recommends Tdap for children ages 7 through 10 years who are not fully vaccinated (see note 1) against pertussis:
  • Single dose of Tdap for those not fully vaccinated (see note 1) or
  • If additional doses of tetanus and diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccines are needed, then children aged 7 through 10 years should be vaccinated according to the catch-up schedule, with Tdap preferred as the first dose.


11 through 18 years CDC routinely recommends Tdap as a single dose for those 11 through 18 years of age with preferred administration at 11 through 12 years of age.

If an adolescent was not fully vaccinated (see note 1) as a child, check the ACIP recommendations and catch-up schedule to determine what’s indicated.

If adolescents (13 through 18 years) missed getting Tdap at 11 to 12 years of age, administer at the next patient encounter or sooner if adolescent will have close contact with infants.

19 years or older Any adult 19 years of age or older who has never received a dose of Tdap should get one as soon as feasible. You should administer Tdap regardless of interval since the last tetanus or diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine. This should be followed by either a Td or Tdap shot every 10 years.

When feasible, Boostrix® (GSK) should be used for adults 65 years and older; however, either vaccine product administered to a person 65 years or older provides protection and may be considered valid. You should not miss an opportunity to vaccinate persons aged 65 years or older with Tdap. Therefore, you may administer the Tdap vaccine you have available.


Pregnant women Pregnant women should get a dose of Tdap during each pregnancy, preferably during the early part of gestation weeks 27 through 36. By getting Tdap during pregnancy, maternal pertussis antibodies transfer to the newborn, providing protection against pertussis in early life, before the baby starts getting DTaP vaccines. Tdap will also help protect the mother at time of delivery, making her less likely to transmit pertussis to her infant. CDC only recommends Tdap in the immediate postpartum period before discharge from the hospital or birthing center for new mothers who have never received Tdap before or whose vaccination status is unknown.


Healthcare personnel (see note 2) CDC recommends a single dose of Tdap for healthcare personnel who have not previously received Tdap and who have direct patient contact. Tdap vaccination can help protect healthcare personnel against pertussis and help prevent them from spreading it to their patients. Give priority to vaccinating those who have direct contact with babies younger than 12 months of age.

You should administer Tdap regardless of interval since the previous Td dose. However, shorter intervals between Tdap and last Td may increase the risk of mild local reactogenicity.

For additional guidance, see Evaluating Revaccination of Healthcare Personnel.


Abbreviation: ACIP – Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

Note 1: CDC defines fully vaccinated as 5 doses of DTaP or 4 doses of DTaP if the fourth dose was administered on or after the fourth birthday.

Note 2: healthcare personnel include but are not limited to physicians, other primary care providers, nurses, aides, respiratory therapists, radiology technicians, students (e.g., medical, nursing, and pharmaceutical), dentists, social workers, chaplains, volunteers, and dietary and clerical workers.

For more detailed information, see Immunization of Health-Care Personnel: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

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