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PREVENTIVE CARE KNOWLEDGE CENTRE

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PREVENTIVE CARE KNOWLEDGE CENTRE

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Why is it essential for older adults to consider taking the Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap or Td) Vaccine?

Written By Samarth Staff | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Anup Bagchi, MBBS, Geriatric specialist

One crucial aspect of staying healthy in senior years is getting vaccinated against Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap or Td). 

The Tdap or Td vaccine provides protection against three serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Tetanus, commonly known as lockjaw, can occur through contaminated wounds and cause severe muscle stiffness. Diphtheria affects the throat and can lead to breathing difficulties, while pertussis, or whooping cough, is highly contagious and can result in prolonged coughing fits.

Not getting vaccinated can have severe consequences. In India, where access to healthcare may be limited, the risk of contracting these diseases is higher. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tetanus causes over 200,000 deaths globally each year, with older adults being particularly vulnerable due to weakened immune systems.

Getting the Tdap or Td vaccine is simple and can be done at any healthcare facility. It’s usually administered as a single injection, with a booster recommended every ten years to maintain immunity. By following the recommended vaccination schedule, older adults can ensure continued protection against these diseases.

While the Tdap or Td vaccine is generally safe, it may cause some mild side effects such as pain or swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever, or fatigue. However, serious adverse reactions are rare, and the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.

References: World Health Organization (WHO). (2022). Tetanus: Fact sheet. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tetanus

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