What diseases does the Tdap immunization guard against?


Quick Answer

The Tdap immunization protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, lists WebMD. Medical professionals use Tdap to immunize adults, while DTaP is the vaccine that prevents the same diseases in children.

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Full Answer

Tetanus causes brain and nervous system problems along with painful muscle spasms that lead to lockjaw. It is a bacterial disease that enters the body through an open wound or cut, states WebMD. Diphtheria is a highly contagious disease that causes breathing problems and heart and nerve damage. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a contagious respiratory disease that causes breathing problems. Pertussis causes severe coughing spells and spreads through secretions from coughing or sneezing, reports the Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC recommends the Tdap vaccine for adults ages 19 and older who have not received the vaccine previously. It is highly recommended for health care workers, caregivers of infants under 1 year old, pregnant women in their third trimester and new mothers who have never received the vaccine, according to WebMD.

People with a history of life-threatening allergic reactions to any part of the vaccine should not receive the Tdap vaccine, states the CDC. Others who should avoid the vaccine are those with a history of coma or seizures after receiving the DTaP or Tdap vaccines previously.

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