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Posted: February 3, 2012
Due to the recent increase in cases of pertussis in our community, people may have questions about having received protective immunizations while here as patients in our Hospital or Emergency Dept.
There are 2 vaccines that protect against pertussis, also known as whooping cough.
DTaP is the vaccine given to children 6 years old and younger. The first dose is not given until the child is 2 months old. It is part of the routine immunizations usually given to children by their healthcare provider at well child check-ups. This vaccine protects children against Diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Until 2005, there was no additional vaccine for pertussis that was approved for use in anyone over 6 years old.
Tdap is a vaccine just licensed in 2005 for the protection of adolescents and adults. It protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. As we get older, the immunizations most of us received as children become less effective. Tdap was developed as a way to boost, or recreate, the immunity we had as children.
Another related vaccine, Td, refers to the vaccine that is commonly called a "tetanus shot". It protects against tetanus and diphtheria but not pertussis. It is often given as a result of a "dirty" injury, like stepping on a nail, to prevent tetanus (also known as lockjaw). This vaccine can be given to anyone 7 years old or older. People should be revaccinated with Td at least every 10 years.
Here is some information that may help if you have questions about immunizations you may have received here at the Chester County Hospital:
Finally, please remember that immunizations do not act immediately. It generally takes 10 days to 2 weeks after you receive vaccine to develop protective immunity.
Last Updated: 5/25/2012