Td versus Tdap

A friend of mine was talking about pertussis on Facebook yesterday and I realized that since I had a tetanus shot last year, it was possible that I may have had Tdap, so I wouldn’t have to worry. This is what the CDC told me…

Thank you for your inquiry to CDC-INFO. In response to your request about the differences in Tetanus vaccinations, we are pleased to provide you with the following information.

You most likely received a Td vaccination. You should check with the physician to verify.

Tetanus toxoid is available as a single-antigen preparation, combined with diphtheria toxoid as pediatric diphtheria-tetanus toxoid (DT) or adult tetanus-diphtheria (Td), and with both diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine as DTaP or Tdap.

Tetanus toxoid is also available as combined DTaP-HepB-IPV (Pediarix) and DTaP-IPV/Hib (Pentacel). Pediatric formulations (DT and DTaP) contain a similar amount of tetanus toxoid as adult Td, but contain 3 to 4 times as much diphtheria toxoid. Children younger than 7 years of age should receive either DTaP or pediatric DT. Persons 7 years of age or older should receive the adult formulation (adult Td), even if they have not completed a series of DTaP or pediatric DT.

The use of single-antigen tetanus toxoid is not recommended. Tetanus toxoid should be given in combination with diphtheria toxoid, since periodic boosting is needed for both antigens.

For more information on Tetanus vaccines, please visit CDC website:

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