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Diphtheria and tetanus vaccine (adult type)

Diphtheria and tetanus vaccine (adult type)

The double vaccine contains the inactive diphtheria and tetanus bacteria. It is presented in liquid form as a single-dose ampoule or in a multi-dose vial. The difference between the childhood and adult type vaccine is that the latter contains less of the bacteria that causes diphtheria.

Diseases that the diphtheria and tetanus vaccine prevents

The vaccine prevents diphtheria and tetanus.

Diphtheria , a disease caused by a toxicogenic bacillus, often lodges in the tonsils, pharynx, larynx, nose and occasionally in other mucous membranes and the skin. Transmission is by direct contact of a sick person or persons with a susceptible person, through droplets of respiratory secretion, eliminated by coughing, sneezing or speaking. In rare cases, contamination by shared objects can occur.

Tetanus is a non-contagious, transmissible disease that presents two forms of occurrence: accidental and neonatal. The first form usually affects people who come in contact with the tetanus bacillus when handling the ground or through injuries or injuries from contaminated materials, skin or mucosal injuries. Neonatal tetanus is caused by contamination during the umbilical cord section by the use of improperly sterilized or unsterilized sharp instruments or hemostasis by the use of contaminated substances in the umbilical stump, such as cobwebs, coffee grounds, smoke,

The disease decreased from 2226 cases in 1982 to less than 600 since 2002. Over the last four years it has been shown that more than 70% of the cases are in the age group below 60 years of age and about 20 to 30% in the range age 60 and over. Accidental tetanus deaths also follow the declining trend from 713 occurrences recorded in 1982 to less than 300 since 1998. In the same period there was a reduction in the number of cases of neonatal tetanus from 584 in 1982 to 15 in 2003. Considering that this disease has a mean lethality of 70%, this reduction has a significant impact on neonatal infant mortality.


The adult vaccine is indicated from the age of seven for people who have not received any dose of the vaccine triple or double childhood vaccine, or those whose vaccine status is not known. It is also used as a booster for vaccination carried out with the threefold bacterial or with the double of the infantile type.

Pregnant can take this vaccine?

In the case of pregnant women, this vaccination is done for prevention, so it is not only allowed as it is administered during pregnancy, in a three dose schedule, depending on whether or not it has been previously vaccinated against these diseases.

Necessary doses

Two schedules can be adopted: or three doses applied at intervals of two months between the first and second, and six months between the second and third, in the scheme 0, 2, 8; or three doses applied at intervals of two months in schedule 0, 2, 4. Increasing the interval between doses does not invalidate the previous doses and therefore does not require the regimen to be restarted. In addition, it should be strengthened every 10 years for the rest of your life.

In the case of pregnant women, when it has never been vaccinated, these two schemes can be done as well. However, in the case of the first, if there is no time to wait 6 months for the third dose, the second dose should be applied 20 days or more before the expected date of delivery.

Previous pregnant women need to anticipate the dose if pregnancy occurs within five years or more after the last dose has been given. The booster dose should be applied 20 days or more before the expected date of delivery.


The occurrence of allergic reaction or neurological events subsequent to the application of the double bacterial vaccine is an absolute contraindication for the administration of diphtheria and tetanus vaccine

Intramuscular deep, preferably in the vastus lateralis of the thigh. other doses of this vaccine.

Possible side effects

Pain, heat, redness and local induration and fever are some of the possible adverse effects.

Where to find diphtheria and tetanus vaccine

The vaccine can be found in public health posts or in the private network. Some medical covenants cover this vaccine in the private healthcare system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I update my immunization card at any age?

Not only can it, but it should. Although it is best to follow the vaccination schedule and immunize at the recommended ages, it is important to take the vaccines that are delayed. However, this rule only applies to vaccines that continue to be recommended in adulthood, such as tetanus, pertussis, and diphtheria. Even classical childhood diseases, such as mumps, measles and rubella, continue to have the vaccine recommendation for adults and need to be taken. However, vaccines you should have taken during childhood only, and that miss the recommendation for adults, because the risk of the disease no longer exists, do not need to be taken. An example is rotavirus, a disease that is very serious in childhood and should be vaccinated in the period, but which for adults does not cause impact beyond room, losing the need for vaccination. Therefore, it is important to follow the timing of birth to third age respecting the priority ages.

If I do not remember having taken the vaccine, can I go to the post and repeat the dose?

Yes. The best measure to do in these cases is to check the vaccination card. But if you missed it for some reason, or thought you were vaccinated, but it is not on the record, the best thing to do is to get vaccinated, albeit repeatedly. "However, you need to be aware of live virus vaccines for serious diseases, such as yellow fever, because there is little chance that the virus will cause the excess virus to cause the disease," says immunologist Eduardo Finger, research and development SalomãoZoppi Diagnostics, in São Paulo. Other than these cases, the best thing to do is to make sure and take the vaccine. "Always remembering that vaccines are even safer when the timetable is followed."

People who are allergic to any vaccine will not be able to take it any more?

In general, it is very difficult for a person to be allergic to the vaccine in yes, but to other elements that are within it. Contraindications are, according to pediatrician Isabella, only for people who have already suffered an anaphylactic shock in the following cases: for measles vaccines, measles, mumps, rubella and yellow fever vaccines are contraindicated because these live viruses are grown in the food before go to the vaccine; in cases of mercury anaphylaxis are contraindicated vaccines with this element, in general those administered by SUS; and whoever has had anaphylactic latex shock should know about the vaccines at their standard vaccination site, as some may contain remnants of the substance.

If I lose my card, will I have to vaccinate again?

Yes, because vaccine is only that vaccine that has been registered. If you take your vaccines at a private clinic, the location will likely record a history of your vaccines, so you do not have to take it again. However, the public network has not yet been able to computerize these data, so a person who gets vaccinated in the public network and loses his or her card will need to take all recommended adult vaccines again.Eduardo Finger (CRM: SP72161), coordinator of the research and development department of SalomãoZoppi Diagnostics

Ministry of Health

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