Vaccine Tdap for Adacel Tetanus Diphtheria Pertussis

Adacel Vaccine


Adacel is a Tdap vaccine for teenagers and adults. It is usually given as a booster shot against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis around the age of 11 or 12 years old. Adacel is about twice as likely to cause fevers in teenagers than the Td vaccine.

What is Adacel?

Adacel® is a booster shot against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) for people between age 10 and 64 years old. Adacel is made by Sanofi Pasteur and approved by the FDA in 2005.

What type of vaccine is Adacel?

Adacel is a Tdap vaccine. It is a booster shot that contains a full-strength immunization against tetanus (T) and lower-dose immunizations against diphtheria (d) and acellular pertussis (ap).

Who should get Adacel?

Adacel is a booster shot that is usually given to teenagers who are around 11 years old who completed the DTaP immunization schedule before their 7th birthday. There should be 5 years between Adacel and their last vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, or pertussis.

One dose of Adacel can also be given to adults up to 64 years old who did not get Adacel or another Tdap vaccine as teenagers. Afterward, adults should get the Td vaccine booster shot every 10 years.

Who should NOT get Adacel?

Adacel should not be given to people who have had severe allergic reactions (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any ingredient in Adacel (see below for a list) or any other vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, or pertussis.

Adacel should not be given to anyone who had encephalopathy (e.g. coma, decreased level of consciousness, prolonged seizures) within 7 days of a previous vaccine against pertussis.

Adacel may pose higher risks for people who have:

  • Latex allergies — the tip caps on Adacel pre-filled syringes contain natural rubber latex
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of a previous tetanus vaccine. The risk may be higher after a dose of Adacel
  • Progressive or unstable neurological conditions
  • Arthus-type hypersensitivity reaction to a previous tetanus vaccine, unless at least 10 years have passed

How many shots do I need?

One. Adacel is given in a single 0.5-mL injection in the deltoid muscle of the upper arm.

Do I need a booster shot?

Yes. One dose of Adacel is good for 10 years of protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Afterward, you will need a booster shot of the Td vaccine every 10 years.

What are common side effects?

The most common side effects of Adacel depend on the age of the person receiving the vaccine.

Adolescents between 11 and 17 years old reported pain (78%), swelling (21%), or redness (21%) at the place where the shot was given, headache (44%), body ache or muscle weakness (30%), or tiredness (15%) within 14 days of vaccination with Adacel.

Adults between 18 and 64 years old reported pain (66%), swelling (21%), or redness (25%) where the shot was injected, headache (34%), and body ache or muscle weakness (22%).

What are severe side effects of Adacel?

  • Allergic reaction
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Brain damage
  • Brachial neuritis
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Decreased level of consciousness
  • Encephalopathy
  • Facial palsy
  • Fainting and fall injuries
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome
  • Heart inflammation (myocarditis)
  • Hypersensitivity (Arthus-type reaction)
  • Muscle inflammation
  • Progressive neurological disorder
  • Seizures
  • Swelling of the whole arm and joints

What is the risk of fever from Adacel?

Adacel was about twice as likely to cause fevers than the Td vaccine in teenagers. The risk of fever over 100.4°F was 5% for Adacel vs. 2.6% for the Td vaccine. Adacel caused fevers over 102°F in 0.9% of teenagers. Fevers over 103.1°F occurred in 0.2% of teenagers.

About 1.4% of adults developed a fever over 100.4°F within 14 days of receiving Adacel during clinical trials.

What else is in Adacel?

Each 0.5-mL dose of Adacel contains tetanus toxoid (T), diphtheria toxoid (d), and aecellular pertussis (ap).

Adacel contains 1.5-mg aluminum phosphate (0.33 mg aluminum) as the adjuvant, >5 mcg residual formaldehyde, >50 ng residual glutaraldehyde, and 3.3 mg of 2-phenoxyethanol.

The ingredients in Adacel include:

Aluminum phosphate, formaldehyde, 2-phenoxyethanol, Stainer-Scholte medium, casamino acids, dimethyl-beta-cyclodextrin, glutaraldehyde, modified Mueller-Miller casamino acid medium without beef heart infusion, ammonium sulfate, and modified Mueller’s growth medium.

Can Adacel cause SIRVA?

When Adacel is injected in the deltoid muscle of the upper arm, it can potentially cause Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA). This devastating injury is believed to occur when the vaccine needle is injected too high or too deep, and it accidentally damages sensitive tissues in the shoulder. It can cause permanent shoulder pain, muscle weakness, and limited range of movement.

Where can I get more information?

Vaccine Side Effects & Injury Lawyers

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If you or a loved one has been the victim of a vaccine side effect, you should contact a vaccine lawyer with experience in this type of complex litigation.

We have recently partnered with Schmidt & Clark, LLP; a Nationally recognized law firm who handles vaccine lawsuits in all 50 states.

The lawyers at the firm offer a Free Confidential Case Evaluation and may be able to obtain financial compensation for you or a loved one by filing a vaccine lawsuit or claim with The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Contact Schmidt & Clark today by using the form below or by calling them directly at (866) 223-3784.

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