Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (TDAP) are vaccines that babies and young children receive, but as they grow older, the protection can wear off, which is why they need to get these shots again when they reach their pre-teen and teen years.
Tetanus: is caused by a toxin made by a bacteria that enters through cuts, scratches, or puncture wounds in the skin. It can be a very dangerous infection, since 1 out of 5 people who get tetanus die from the infection.
Diphtheria: This can spread through coughing or sneezing and it can create a thick coating in the back of the nose or throat, which makes it difficult to breathe or swallow. It can cause paralysis and heart failure. 1 out of 10 people that get diphtheria die from it.
Pertussis (whooping cough): This is another one that spreads through coughing and sneezing. It can cause a bad cough making it difficult to breathe afterward. This cough could last for several weeks and it’s very important to be vaccinated especially if you have young children. Whooping cough could be deadly for babies since they are too young to get the protection from their own vaccines.
Talk to your doctor if you have an adolescent between the ages 11-18 to make sure they receive these vaccinations that prevent these illnesses. Also, don’t forget that all the members of your family, including teens, need a flu shot because this vaccine can help prevent them from catching the flu, which could also be deadly in some cases. Most of these vaccines have no side-effects, but if you have any questions, talk to your doctor about the risks.
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