To protect your health and well-being, it’s essential to embrace preventative care. Doctors encourage patients to educate themselves on vaccines and how they protect against specific diseases. One essential immunization, known as the Tdap vaccine, has dramatically lowered the incidence of tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. If you’re unfamiliar with this shot and whether you or your child will need it, use the overview below to decide.
What You Need to Know About the Tdap Vaccine
What Is the Tdap Vaccine?
The Tdap vaccine is a combination immunization that successfully protects patients from the three aforementioned bacterial diseases. Tetanus is a dangerous infection caused by bacteria that penetrates deep wounds. You may also know it by its common name, lockjaw – so-called because of the muscle spasms and stiffness it produces. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that causes a coating if mucus to form in the back of the throat that impairs breathing. Pertussis or whopping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that causes coughing so extreme it can lead to vomiting, incontinence, and even rib fractures. All of these diseases are manageable with proper care, but they can be life-threatening and difficult to treat. It’s best to avoid these diseases altogether by getting vaccinated. Since this vaccine was developed, reports of these three bacterial diseases have decreased by 80 to 99%.
Who Needs This Vaccination?
Anyone aged 11 or older should get the Tdap vaccine. There is also a vaccine that protects against the same diseases but is designed for use in children under age 7, called DTaP. It’s particularly important that adults who are frequently around infants get the Tdap vaccine, as DTaP is administered to babies in stages and they are vulnerable until the vaccination program is complete.
How Often Do You Need to Get This Vaccine?
While the Tdap vaccine only needs to be administered once, the effects can fade over time. Thus it’s recommended that adults receive a Tdap booster every 10 years. If you’re over the age of 19 and you did not receive the original Tdap vaccine as a preteen, visit a local travel clinic or your primary care physician right away to get the shot and ensure your protection.
With a convenient location in Chantilly, VA, HealthSmartVaccines has become Fairfax County’s leading travel clinic for vaccines, flu shots, and yellow fever testing. If you’re planning an international vacation or you need to catch up on your immunizations, this state-of-the-art facility and their dedicated team of healthcare providers are ready to assist. Call today at (703) 961-0733 to schedule an appointment and visit their website to learn more about the variety of services this trusted clinic has to offer.