Thanks to modern medicine, there are many vaccines available that can now protect you and your family from getting serious, potentially life threatening diseases and infections. At University Urgent Care (UCC) in Fort Worth, we offer the TdaP vaccine to protect against tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough), as well as the Td booster vaccine. According to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the TdaP and Td vaccines have helped to lower reports of tetanus and diphtheria by 99% and pertussis by about 80% since they became available in America. Our experienced team will help you determine if you should receive the TdaP or Td vaccine based on your medical history and risk factors before administering your shot. UCC is open 7 days a week and no appointments are necessary to receive a TdaP or Td shot. For shorter wait times, try our online check-in system.
HOW IT WORKS
Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are all serious bacterial diseases that can be deadly if they are not treated. Tetanus (commonly known as lockjaw) enters the body through cuts, scratches, and wounds. The tetanus bacteria causes muscles throughout the body to become painfully tight and stiff, which eventually makes it impossible to breathe. Even with treatment, 1 out of 10 people infected with tetanus die, so it’s best to prevent an infection with the TdaP and Td vaccines.
Diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) are spread from person to person through sneezing and coughing. Both cause respiratory problems that can lead to difficulty breathing and other serious problems. The TdaP vaccine protects aginst tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis by creating a response in the immune system that will prevent the bacteria from spreading if it enters the body. The Td booster is given every 10 years, but it only protects against tetanus and diphtheria.
WHEN TO GET THE VACCINATIONS
Ideally, the TdaP vaccine should be initially given right after in several doses two, four, and six months after birth. Another dose should be given when the baby is 15 – 18 months old, 4 – 6 years old, and at 11 – 12 years of age. Starting at age 19, you should get a Td booster shot every 10 years. Women who are pregnant should get a TdaP vaccine during their third trimester so the baby will have protection immediately after birth from whooping cough, which has the highest risk of severe complications in newborns. A TdaP shot may be given after a severe burn or cut as a precaution against tetanus. If you or your child did not receive a TdaP or Td shot at the recommended age, please talk to one of our doctors about creating a catch-up schedule to give the best protection.
Before you receive a TdaP or Td shot, please tell your doctor about your medical history, especially any previous allergic reactions to vaccinations. The TdaP and Td vaccine may not be appropriate if you have a nervous system problem (like seizures) or Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). If you are not feeling well, your shot may need to be performed on another day.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Patients who visit UUC for a TdaP or Td vaccine will first receive a physical exam to check their overall health and vital signs. After discussing their medical history, including pervious vaccinations and any known allergies, the doctor will determine if the patient is a candidate for the TdaP or Td vaccine. If the patient is eligible for the vaccine, one of of medical professionals will administer the shot after sterilizing the skin at the injection site. After the TdaP or Td shot, patients should watch for signs of an allergic reaction, which are rare but do occur. This includes hives, swelling of the throat or face, trouble breathing, a high fever, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness.
PROTECT AND PREVENT
Make sure you and your family are protected from the serious problems caused by tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis with TdaP shots and Td boosters at University Urgent Care in Fort Worth. Our skilled team can keep or get you on an immunization schedule recommended by the CDC at our convenient location near Texas Christian University (TCU). Open 7 days a week, you are welcome to walk in or use our online check-in service for fast, efficient urgent care and family medicine.