These three diseases are caused by bacteria. Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person and tetanus enters the body through a cut or wound. Tetanus (lockjaw) causes painful muscle spasms, and can lead to death if not treated. Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat, untreated it can lead to heart failure or paralysis. Pertussis (whooping cough) causes severe coughing and vomiting. Pertussis that is not treated may lead to pneumonia.
The Tdap was licensed in 2005. It is the first vaccine for adolescents and adults that protects against all three diseases. It can be used as a catch-up vaccine for individuals who did not receive all their doses when they were children, as a booster dose every 10 years, and for protection against tetanus infection after a wound. Mild reactions after the vaccine can include pain or redness at the injection site, nausea, headache or low-grade fever.
Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician located in Tampa, Florida offers this vaccine to her patients. Self-pay pricing is competitive with the national pharmacy chains. However, insurance and Medicare will often cover all or a portion of the vaccine cost. Please contact the office at (813) 902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.