Immunization protects you from disease.Get protected, get immunized.
This vaccine gets its name from the diseases it protects against: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough).
Grade 9 students get the dTap vaccine in school. Younger children may also get this vaccine if they are at least age 7 years and:
If your child gets a dTap vaccine early and they’re at least age 12 years, they don’t need to get a dose of the vaccine in Grade 9.
Adults should also have this vaccine after turning age 18 years. Talk to your healthcare provider if you weren’t immunized as a baby. You may need other vaccines.
You should have this vaccine during pregnancy, even if you’ve had it before. It will help protect your baby during their first few months of life, especially against pertussis.
In Alberta, a dTap vaccine is recommended in every pregnancy. It’s usually given between 27 and 32 weeks of pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and outside of this time frame, talk to your healthcare provider about when you should get this vaccine.
If you received your routine immunizations when they’re recommended (on schedule) you need an extra dose (booster) of dTap:
If you’re getting immunized for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis for the first time, the number of doses you need depends on your age. Ask your healthcare provider how many doses you need.
If you’re healthy and get all of the recommended doses, the protection is:
It’s important to get booster doses because the protection may weaken over time.
Grade 9 students can get the vaccine in school. Parents and guardians will get information about tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis and the vaccine. If you want your child to get the vaccine in school, you must fill out the consent form and return it to the school.
Children can also get the dTap vaccine at their local public health office.
Adults can get the dTap vaccine at a public health office.
If you’re pregnant, you can get the dTap vaccine at a public health office or pharmacy.
You may also get the dTap vaccine at an urgent care centre, emergency department, doctor’s office, or walk-in clinic if you’re at risk for tetanus after an injury or wound.
There can be side effects from the dTap vaccine, but they tend to be mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:
It’s important to stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after your vaccine. Some people may have a rare but serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If anaphylaxis happens, you will get medicine to treat the symptoms.
It’s rare to have a serious side effect after a vaccine. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.
You may not be able to have the vaccine if you:
Check with your doctor or public health nurse before you get the vaccine.
You can still have the vaccine if you have a mild illness, such as a cold or fever. Always tell your healthcare provider if you have allergies or if you have had a side effect from a vaccine in the past.
What is diphtheria? Diphtheria is a nose and throat infection caused by bacteria. It’s spread by coughing, sneezing, or close contact with an infected person. It can cause trouble breathing or swallowing, heart failure, and
One out of 10 people who get diphtheria will die.
What is tetanus? Tetanus is a bacterial infection that causes uncontrolled movements (spasms) in the muscles of the jaw and other muscles of the body. Tetanus bacteria are common in dirt, manure (animal stool), and human stool. They can get into the body through a cut on the skin or an animal bite.
Tetanus can cause:
Getting tetanus is rare because there has been a vaccine since the 1940s. Most people have been immunized against it.
Go to the
tetanus page on MyHealth.Alberta.ca to find out more.
What is pertussis? Pertussis is an infection of the airways caused by bacteria. Its spread by coughing, sneezing, or contact with an infected person. Pertussis can cause:
In rare cases pertussis can lead to seizures, brain injury, and death.
Go to the
pertussis page on MyHealth.Alberta.ca to find out more.
Current as of: June 23, 2020
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
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