You May Need to Get These 3 Immunizations Again
TdapGuards against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (a.k.a. whooping cough).
What’s new: As of last October, a Tdap shot is recommended for pregnant women as early as possible during their last trimester. Experts also advise everyone age 11 and older to get the shot if they haven’t already, especially if they’re around newborns.
Why: Scientists are now realizing that the Tdap vaccine wears off faster than once hoped (as does its childhood equivalent, DTaP). Four years after getting Tdap, only 30 to 40 percent of people are fully protected from pertussis, which is likely one reason cases have spiked in recent years. The vaccine is still the best defense we have against this highly contagious respiratory disease, which can cause coughing fits violent enough to crack a rib. Pertussis is especially dangerous for babies too young to receive the shot: About half of infected infants under a year old need to be hospitalized.