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Adacel Tdap Vaccine

Generic name: tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine adsorbed

What is Adacel Vaccine?

Adacel vaccine is a vaccine that helps protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis diseases in people who are 10 through 64 years of age. It cannot cause tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis. Adacel vaccine may not protect all people getting the vaccine.

Tetanus, also called "lockjaw", can cause severe muscle spasms making it difficult for a person to open their mouth or swallow. You can get tetanus through a cut or wound.

Diphtheria can cause throat, lung and skin infections leading to severe complications that affect the lungs, heart and nervous system.

Pertussis, also called "whooping cough," causes coughing fits that can affect breathing. Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person.

Who should not use Adacel Vaccine?

You should not get Adacel vaccine if you:

  • had a severe allergic reaction to a previous tetanus vaccine, diphtheria vaccine, pertussis vaccine, or any component of Adacel vaccine.
  • were told you have an "encephalopathy," which is a kind of brain disease or malfunction, after receiving a previous dose of a pertussis vaccine.
  • are younger than 10 years old or older than 64 years of age.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before using Adacel Vaccine?

Tell your healthcare provider if you or your child:

  • had severe injection site pain or swelling after a prior tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis vaccination.
  • had Guillain-Barré syndrome, a nerve disease causing severe muscle weakness, after getting a vaccine.
  • have a brain disorder or brain disease that is not stable.
  • have a latex allergy.
  • are pregnant or nursing.
  • had a tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis vaccine within the last 5 years.

Fainting can occur around the time of vaccination with Adacel or other vaccines. Tell your healthcare provider if you or your child has fainted in connection with any previous vaccination.

How should I use Adacel Vaccine?

Adacel is a single shot that is given into the muscle of the upper arm.

What are the possible side effects of Adacel Vaccine?

The most common side effects of Adacel vaccine are

  • pain, redness and swelling where you got the shot
  • headache
  • body ache
  • tiredness
  • fever

These are not all the possible side effects of Adacel vaccine. You may ask your healthcare provider for a list of side effects that is available to healthcare professionals.

If you or your child experience side effects that concern you, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. You may report side effects to VAERS at 1-800-822-7967 or

What are the ingredients in Adacel Vaccine?

Adacel vaccine contains noninfectious tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis proteins, aluminum phosphate, 2-phenoxyethanol, and residual amounts of formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde.

Adacel vaccine does not contain preservatives.

Source: National Library of Medicine. Last updated March 26, 2020.