Prevention of pertussis among adolescents: Recommendations for use of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine

Keith R. Powell, Robert S. Baltimore, Henry H. Bernstein, Joseph A. Bocchini, John S. Bradley, Michael T. Brady, Penelope H. Dennehy, Robert W. Frenck, David W. Kimberlin, Sarah S. Long, Julia A. McMillan, Lorry G. Rubin, Richard D. Clover, Stephen L. Cochi, Joanne Embree, Marc A. Fischer, Mamodikoe Makhene, Douglas R. Pratt, Benjamin Schwartz, Jeffrey R. StarkeJack Swanson, Larry K. Pickering, Edgar O. Ledbetter, Alison Siwek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The purpose of this statement is to provide the rationale and recommendations for adolescent use of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccines. Despite universal immunization of children with multiple doses of pediatric diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, pertussis remains endemic with a steady increase in the number of reported cases. Two peaks in the incidence of pertussis occur in pediatric patients: infants younger than 6 months of age who are inadequately protected by the current immunization schedule and adolescents 11 through 18 years of age whose vaccine-induced immunity has waned. Significant medical and public health resources are being consumed in postexposure management of adolescent cases, contacts, and outbreaks with little beneficial effect on individuals or the epidemiology of disease. Two Tdap products were licensed in 2005 for use in people 10 through 18 years of age (Boostrix) and 11 through 64 years of age (Adacel). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following: 1. Adolescents 11 to 18 years of age should receive a single dose of Tdap instead of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids (Td) vaccine for booster immunization. The preferred age for Tdap immunization is 11 to 12 years. 2. Adolescents 11 to 18 years of age who have received Td but not Tdap are encouraged to receive a single dose of Tdap. An interval of at least 5 years between Td and Tdap is suggested to reduce the risk of local and systemic reactions; however, intervals of less than 5 years can be used, particularly in settings of increased risk of acquiring pertussis, having complicated disease, or transmitting infection to vulnerable contacts. Data support acceptable safety with an interval as short as approximately 2 years. 3. Tdap and tetravalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4 [Menactra]) should be administered during the same visit if both vaccines are indicated. If this is not feasible, MCV4 and Tdap can be administered using either sequence. When not administered simultaneously, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests a minimum interval of 1 month between vaccines. The rationale for this strategy is to provide direct protection of immunized adolescents. With implementation of vaccine recommendations, indirect benefit also is likely to extend to unimmunized peers and other age groups. The strategy of universal Tdap immunization at 11 to 12 years of age is cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-978
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Pertussis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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