Tdap (the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine) is recommended for anyone 11 years of age or older or family members or caregivers of an infant younger than 12 months of age. This vaccine contains the pertussis component not included with the traditional TD vaccine that is recommended every ten years throughout life.
Pertussis (also called whooping cough) is a respiratory disease that is very dangerous for infants. Even though pertussis is not as serious for adults, adults can pass it on to infants. In these young children, pertussis can cause severe coughing, difficulty breathing, seizures, and lead to other serious respiratory infections and even death. To prevent the spread of pertussis, families and caregivers of infants should get vaccinated with the Tdap vaccine.