Both of these vaccines provide protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Boostrix (GSK) is licensed for people ages 10 years and older, and Adacel (Sanofi Pasteur) is licensed for people ages 10 through 64 years. The two vaccines also contain a different number of pertussis antigens and different concentrations of pertussis antigen and diphtheria toxoid.
Ask the Experts: Tetanus: Tdap for Adolescents & Adults
Updated ACIP recommendations for the use of Tdap were published in April 2018 (available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/rr/pdfs/rr6702a1-H.pdf) and January 2020 (available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6903a5-H.pdf). ACIP recommends that all adults age 19 years and older who have not yet received a dose of Tdap receive a single dose. Tdap should be administered regardless of interval since the last tetanus or diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine (e.g., Td). After receiving Tdap, people should receive Td or Tdap every 10 years for routine booster immunization against tetanus and diphtheria, according to previously published guidelines. A dose of Tdap should be administered during each pregnancy, preferably early in the 27 week through 36 week gestation time period.
Providers should not miss an opportunity to vaccinate adults age 65 and older with Tdap. Providers may administer any Tdap vaccine they have available. When feasible, providers should administer Boostrix (GSK) to adults age 65 and older as it is licensed for this age group. Adacel (Sanofi) is licensed for use in people age 10 through 64. However, ACIP concluded that either vaccine administered to a person age 65 or older is immunogenic and will provide protection. A dose of either vaccine is considered valid.
When a tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine is needed for wound management in a person who has not previously received Tdap, the use of Tdap is preferred over Td.
No. In March 2014, FDA lowered the age indication for Adacel brand Tdap vaccine (Sanofi) from age 11 years to age 10 years. Both Tdap products, Adacel and Boostrix (GSK), now have the same lower age indication.
Tdap vaccination for adolescents is recommended at age 11–12 years. A 10-year-old who is already up to date on diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis vaccines and gets a Tdap vaccine for any reason does not need to receive another Tdap at age 11–12 years.
Yes, you can. Many of the conditions previously considered to be precautions to DTaP (e.g., temperature of 105°F or higher, collapse or shock-like state, persistent crying lasting 3 hours or longer, seizure with or without fever) did not apply to Tdap. These conditions are also no longer considered to be precautions to DTaP. This issue is addressed in the current ACIP statement, available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/rr/pdfs/rr6702a1-H.pdf, page 3.
Yes. All adolescents should receive one dose of Tdap vaccine to protect them from pertussis, even if they have already received Td. It is important to do this right away (no minimal interval is required), especially if they are in contact with an infant younger than age 12 months, work in a healthcare setting where they have direct contact with patients, or live in a community where pertussis is occurring.
Yes. There is no need to observe any minimum interval between doses of Td and Tdap except when administered as part of a catch-up primary series of tetanus vaccine.
You should use DTaP in children younger than age 7 years. In addition, ACIP recommends giving a dose of Tdap to children age 7–10 years who did not finish a minimum 3-dose series of pertussis-containing vaccines before their 7th birthday or for whom their pertussis vaccine status is unknown. Children age 7–10 who require more than one dose of tetanus-containing vaccine to be up to date may be given either Td or Tdap for doses needed after the initial Tdap dose. Although this is an off-label use of the vaccines, it’s important that you vaccinate these vulnerable children with Tdap as well as any other adolescent or adult who hasn’t received Tdap previously.
This child needs to complete the primary series with 1 dose of Td or Tdap, administered no earlier than 6 months after the Tdap dose given at age 11 years. After that, the child needs a booster dose of Td or Tdap every 10 years. An easy way to determine how to catch up a child is to consult “Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 Through 18 Years, U.S.” The schedule is approved by CDC, AAP, and AAFP and is released early in each calendar year. It includes a catch-up schedule for children who have fallen behind (see www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html).
Since the first DTaP was received before 12 months of age and one Tdap dose has been given, this person needs one dose of Td or Tdap 6 calendar months after the Tdap dose. A routine Td or Tdap booster should be administered every 10 years. See Immunize.org’s handout: DTaP, Tdap, and Td Catch-up Vaccination Recommendations by Prior Vaccine History and Age: www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2055.pdf.
ACIP recommends the following for the use of Tdap in healthcare personnel:
- All healthcare personnel (HCP), regardless of age, should receive a single dose of Tdap as soon as feasible if they have not previously received Tdap and regardless of the time since last Td dose.
- Tdap may be administered in any situations where Td only was previously recommended. After receipt of Tdap, HCP should receive routine booster immunization against tetanus and diphtheria with either Td or Tdap vaccine. Additionally, pregnant HCP should receive a dose of Tdap during each pregnancy.
- Hospitals and ambulatory-care facilities should provide Tdap for HCP and use approaches that maximize vaccination rates (e.g., education about the benefits of vaccination, convenient access, and the provision of Tdap at no charge).
To view updated recommendations on the use of Td or Tdap in situations where only Td was previously recommended, go to www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6903a5-H.pdf. For details about Tdap and other recommendations for healthcare personnel, go to “Immunization of Health-Care Personnel” (MMWR 2011;60[SS-7]:4-46) at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr6007.pdf.
There is no minimum period to wait to correct your error. If you had immediately realized that you had mistakenly given the father-to-be Td instead of Tdap, you could have given him the needed Tdap dose at the same visit at which you gave him the erroneous Td dose.
Yes. ACIP recommends a dose of Tdap be given to all adults, including those age 65 years or older.
ACIP recommends the following:
- All adults age 19 years and older who have not yet received a dose of Tdap should receive a dose.
- All pregnant people should receive a dose of Tdap during each pregnancy, preferably between 27 and 36 weeks’ gestation. Mothers who have never received Tdap and who do not receive it during pregnancy should receive it immediately postpartum.
- A person who has not yet received a dose of Tdap can be given a dose of Tdap regardless of the interval since the person last received a tetanus or diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine.
- Providers should not miss an opportunity to vaccinate adults age 65 years and older with Tdap. When feasible, give Boostrix to adults age 65 and older. However, either vaccine product (Adacel or Boostrix) provides protection and is considered valid for use in people in this age group.
- For adults not previously vaccinated with Tdap who need wound management care to prevent tetanus, Tdap is preferred over Td.
- For adults who have received an initial dose of Tdap, Tdap may be administered in any situations where Td only was previously recommended, including as the decennial (every 10-years) booster dose.
There is no upper age limit for Tdap vaccination. A dose of Tdap is recommended for all adults. In addition, Tdap may be administered in any situations where Td only was previously recommended.
Your understanding of the general Td/Tdap recommendation is correct, and this is the schedule that should be followed for persons 7 years old and older who have never received tetanus-containing vaccine or who cannot provide documentation of prior vaccination. ACIP recommends that Tdap or Td may be used in situations when only Td was previously recommended. Be sure to document doses administered in your state’s immunization information system so other healthcare providers will have access to the record of immunization and a primary series will not need to be repeated in the future.
No. ACIP recommends that people age 11 years and older who have not yet received Tdap receive a dose of Tdap now. ACIP specifies no waiting interval between administering Td and Tdap.
As soon as possible, even if it is the same day.
Vaccination of the parents against pertussis after the baby is born is not optimal, but it may be helpful and should be done if the parents have not previously received Tdap, regardless of when they last received Td vaccination. It takes about 2 weeks after Tdap receipt for the parents to have protection against pertussis. Once the parents have protection, they are is less likely to transmit pertussis to the infant. However, the newborn remains at risk of contracting pertussis from others, including siblings, grandparents, and other caregivers. They should be counseled about the importance of Tdap vaccination of the mother during future pregnancies. See CDC’s web page for more information: www.cdc.gov/pertussis/pregnant/hcp/pregnant-patients.html.
Yes. Tdap can be administered with all other vaccines that are indicated (e.g., meningococcal conjugate vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine, MMR). Each vaccine should be administered at a different anatomic site using a separate syringe.