In 2005, an upgraded form of the vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) was introduced to protect individuals over the age of 11.
DTaP, DTP, Td, Tdap Vaccinations
Tdap should not be confused with the childhood version (DTaP). The upper case letters of the abbreviations represent full strength dosage while the lower case letters represent a lesser strength dose. Therefore, children under the age of 6 would get DTaP, while individuals 11 through 65, would get Tdap.
Also known as lockjaw, tetanus is a bacterium that enters the body through any part of the skin that is not intact.
It can enter through a:
- sore, or
It affects the muscles in the body and causes severe spasms. It was nicknamed lockjaw because it often affects the jaw muscle preventing the person from opening his mouth and swallowing.
The classic sign of this disease is a thick covering in the back of the throat. It Is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted by person-to-person through large aerosol droplets from coughing and sneezing.
The force behind a cough or sneeze is propelled approximately five feet. Therefore, it is important for unsuspecting individuals to know that the risk of exposure is greater than they may realize.
This condition is very serious, left untreated it causes severe breathing problems, and can result in heart failure.
Also known as Whooping Cough, it is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted by person-to-person through large aerosol droplets.
The bacterium causes damage to respiratory tissue. The classic sign of this disease is an intense cough. The cough can last for weeks, is constant and severe, and because of this can lead to vomiting.
Exclusion to Vaccination
There are certain conditions that would exclude a person from being a candidate for vaccination:
- Those with a prior history of allergic reaction to any previous vaccinations of tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis.
- Those who are allergic to any component of the vaccination.
- Pregnant women should wait to be vaccinated until after the baby is born.
It is also suggested that the vaccination be delayed if one is experiencing an illness or fever. Moreover, those with a history of seizures, epilepsy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome or any other neurological condition consult with a physician before having the vaccination.
As with any medication, there are certain risks associated with vaccinations. Some of the problems are mild in nature such as slight discomfort at the injection site, or a mild fever between 99-100 degrees.
In other cases, problems can arise that interfere with normal activities such as severe pain or swelling at the injection site, headache, and fever over 102 degrees.
In a smaller percentage of cases, severe problems such as a severe allergic reaction or neurological problems can arise resulting in immediate medical attention.
In conclusion, the new booster vaccination (Tdap) for individuals aged 11 to 65 is an important advancement in the fight against disease. As with any medication, discuss all benefits and risks with a physician before making an informed decision.