This vaccine helps prevent:

  • Diphtheria—which causes a sore throat with thick covering in the back of the throat
  • Tetanus—which causes painful muscle tightening all over the body; also known as lockjaw
  • Pertussis—which causes bad coughing spells that make it difficult for infants to eat, drink, and breathe; also known as whooping cough

The Tdap vaccine contains diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, and acellular (small, purified pieces) pertussis germ.

It is given to children ≥ 7 years old, adolescents, and adults to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis infections.

The vaccine is given as an injection, usually into the arm or thigh.