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Td Vaccine (Tetanus/Diphtheria)

1. Why get vaccinated?

Tetanus and diphtheria are very serious diseases. They are rare in the United States today, but people who do become infected often have severe complications. Td vaccine is used to protect adolescents and adults from both of these diseases.

Both tetanus and diphtheria are infections caused by bacteria. Diphtheria spreads from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Tetanus-causing bacteria enter the body through cuts, scratches, or wounds.

Before vaccines, the United States saw as many as 200,000 cases a year of diphtheria and hundreds of cases of tetanus. Since vaccination began, cases of both diseases have dropped by about 99%.

2. Td vaccine

Td vaccine can protect adolescents and adults from tetanus and diphtheria. Td is usually given as a booster dose every 10 years but it can also be given earlier after a severe and dirty wound or burn.

Your doctor can give you more information.

Td may safely be given at the same time as other vaccines.

3. Some people should not get this vaccine

Talk to your doctor if you:

4. Risks of a vaccine reaction

With a vaccine, like any medicine, there is a chance of side effects. These are usually mild and go away on their own.

Serious side effects are also possible, but are very rare. Most people who get Td vaccine do not have any problems with it.

Mild Problems following Td (Did not interfere with activities)

Moderate Problems following Td (Interfered with activities, but did not require medical attention)

Severe Problems following Td (Unable to perform usual activities; required medical attention)

Problems that could happen after any vaccine:

The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. For more information, visit:

5. What if there is a serious reaction?

What should I look for?

What should I do?

VAERS is only for reporting reactions. They do not give medical advice.

6. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines.

Persons who believe they may have been injured by a vaccine can learn about the program and about filing a claim by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP website at

7. How can I learn more?

Reference: Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Last updated May 8, 2015