Info. about the Tdap Vaccine

“Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen says an epidemic of pertussis, or whooping cough, has hit the state and Chen wants everyone over the age of 19 to get a special booster shot in the coming weeks.” – Listen to VPR here.

“He said teachers and health care workers who work with children should be particularly careful in making sure their vaccinations are up to date.” See Brattleboro Reformer article here.

Given that Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen is calling on all adults to “step up and do their part” we thought it only fair you have all the facts before you consent to injection with the Tdap Vaccine being offered. One thing you should know is that you will not be vaccinated with a pertussis-only vaccine. The vaccines on offer come in the form of a “triple shot” containing tetanus and diphtheria toxoids as well as acellular pertussis vaccine.

The following information is from John D. Grabenstein, RPh, PhD, FAPhA. Immunofacts(R) Vaccines and Immunologic Drugs, 2012. NOTE: The author is a pharmacist and epidemiologist employed by Merck and Co., Inc.

Adverse Reactions: “Rarely, an anaphylactic reaction (ie, hives, swelling of the mouth, difficulty breathing, hypotension, or shock) has been reported after receiving preparations containing diphtheria, tetanus and/or pertussis antigens. Death after vaccine-caused anaphylaxis has been reported. Arthus-type hypersensitivity reactions, characterized by severe local reactions, may follow receipt of tetanus toxoid. A review by the IOM found evidence for a causal relationship between receipt of tetanus toxoid and both brachial neuritis and Guillain Barré syndrome. A few cases of demyelinating diseases have been reported after some tetanus toxoid-containing vaccines or tetanus and diptheria toxoid containing vaccines, although the IOM concluded that the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship. A few cases of peripheral mononeuropathy and of cranial mononeuropathy have been reported after tetanus toxoid administration, although the IOM concluded that the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship.”

Efficacy: “The duration of protection against pertussis is uncertain.”

Want more? See also package insert information found in our post written for pregnant women: