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Tdap Vaccine - What is it? Do I need it?

Tdap Vaccine - What is it? Do I need it?

As a doula, one of the ways I assist clients is to help them sort through the information and recommendations that are made by friends, family, your care providers, and even the random person from the grocery store. I help them understand why something is recommended and how it applies to them, versus just blindly refusing or accepting everything that is recommended. 

One of the most frequent questions I receive is, “Why do I need ANOTHER Tdap vaccine?” 


Let’s start by defining what the vaccine is. According to the CDC, the “Tdap vaccine can prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.”1

The recommendation for providing it to pregnant women has changed over the years and depends greatly on your location and demographics. The two main reasons are to protect against tetanus, should there be any issues with sanitation, and safeguard the unborn child from the risk of pertussis, or “Whooping Cough”, once they’re born. 

Pertussis can be extremely serious especially in babies and young children, causing pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage, or death. Western NC has a fairly high rate of RSV (Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus) 2 and whooping cough in younger children. Therefore, the recommendation is to get this combo vaccine for the pertussis protection that is provided for the infant who is too young to be vaccinated.

I’ve provided several tips and resources below so you can do your own research! When you are doing your personal research on topics related to your health, please do not simply rely on internet searches or the opinions of those around you. Really dig deep- gather reliable information so you understand why recommendations are being made before you make your choice.

How to do some research on your own: 

  • Choose good sources! 
  • Read multiple articles! 
    • Get a more comprehensive answer, by reading articles from different sources, as each article may reference different studies.
  • Ask your provider for more information.

In the end, you have to make the choice that is right for the health of your family. Have open and honest conversations with your care provider.  Let me know if this article is helpful.