Understanding the Tdap vaccine

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Expecting mothers and people who are planning to be around newborn babies are encouraged to get a Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine.

The Tdap vaccine protects against Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis / Source: (Knox County Health Department)

Dena Mashburn, director of nursing for the Knox County Health Department said the vaccine can prevent what could be a harmless cough for adults but a potentially deadly outcome for babies.

Tdap vaccine can protect adolescents and adults from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. One dose of Tdap is routinely given at age 11 or 12, according to the Centers for Disease and Control.

Mashburn said Tdap is especially important for anyone having close contact with a baby younger than 12 months.

Pregnant women should get a dose of Tdap during every pregnancy, according to Mashburn, to protect the newborn from pertussis. Infants are most at risk for severe, life-threatening complications from pertussis.

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