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Booster Shots: Adults, Are You Up to Date?

Every year when you send your kids back to school, it seems like they need another immunization. School districts throughout Southwest Florida are reminding parents that incoming 7th graders will need the Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis, TDap, booster shot before the 2018-2019 school year starts.

But what about adults? The Centers for Disease Control recommend adults get a TDap booster vaccine every 10 years.

TDap protects you from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.

TDap Descriptions

Tetanus – Lockjaw. The CDC describes tetanus symptoms as painful muscle tightening and stiffness all over the body. However, tetanus is a rare disease.

Diphtheria, which is also rare, causes a thick coating to form in the back of the throat. The disease can lead to breathing problems, heart flair, paralysis and even death.

Pertussis – Also known as Whooping Cough, which is a common disease in the U.S. Symptoms include severe coughing spells, difficulty breathing, vomiting and disturbed sleep.

Although tetanus and diphtheria are rare diseases in the United States, it’s important to get the booster just in case you come in contact with someone who isn’t immunized. If you travel, a lot of countries do not have the same immunization requirements as the U.S.

Who Else Should Get Vaccinated

Health care professionals and anyone having close contact with a baby younger than 12 months, according to the CDC.

Pregnant women. The CDC highly suggest for every pregnancy the mother should get a dose of Tdap to protect the newborn from pertussis. Infants are most at risk for severe, life-threatening complications from pertussis.

Additional reporting by Jalyn Henderson