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Booster Vaccination

Vaccines are not just for kids.
Adolescents and adults need booster vaccination to sustain their protection

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Why should adolescents and adults be vaccinated?

Did you know…
The protection you receive from childhood vaccines is not lifelong1,2

In recent outbreaks of pertussis, adolescents and adults have accounted for the majority of the cases reported.1,2 The greatest morbidity and mortality rates are in infants <12 months of age due to infants being too young to be vaccinated.3

Pertussis incidence is increasing in older age groups, as immunity acquired through childhood vaccination declines.1,2 Adolescents and adults may suffer from pertussis
infection that can lead to complications.1

The protection conferred by childhood vaccinations against major vaccine-preventable diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and poliomyelitis, wanes over time.1,2,4

Without a booster dose, the adult population becomes at risk of infection 2

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Adults can be at risk of severe and potentially fatal major vaccine preventable diseases

Did you know…
There is limited treatment against these 4 severe, and potentially fatal infectious diseases4,6,8

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4 major vaccine-preventable diseases

Tetanus is a frequently fatal infectious disease, acquired through a bacterium that is universally present in the soil and therefore impossible to eradicate.

Diphtheria is a potentially severe disease, caused by a bacterium transmitted from person to person through close physical and/or respiratory contact.

Pertussis, or “whooping cough”, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is spread through close contact such as talking, coughing or sneezing.

Poliomyelitis (polio) is an acute viral disease, spread from person to person, that can
lead to paralysis, severe breathing difficulties and death. There is no cure for poliomyelitis.

Vaccination is one of the best forms of protection against major infectious diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and poliomyelitis4,8

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Booster vaccination helps adolescents and adults stay healthy, by preventing serious infections 

Did you know…
By getting vaccinated, you can help ensure you don’t spread severe diseases to your family and loved ones4,8

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends re-vaccination of adults against
    tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years to sustain immunity5,8
  • Until polio has been certified as eradicated globally, all polio-free countries and areas remain at risk of polio importation and renewed outbreaks6,7
  • All travellers to and from polio epidemic countries should be fully vaccinated before travelling6,7

A booster vaccine, which confers protection against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and poliomyelitis, in one single dose, is available for adolescents and adults

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Remember to ask your doctor about any boosters you may need

Last time you were vaccinated, you were probably learning your ABCs!

A Booster dose of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis is recommended for the following groups:8

  • Any adult whose last booster was 10 or more years ago8
  • Women of childbearing age should receive a pertussis booster vaccine before pregnancy, or as soon as possible after delivery, if not breastfeeding8
  • All adults in close contact/who anticipate having close contact with infants (including grandparents, childcare workers) should receive a pertussis booster vaccine at least two weeks before the baby is born8
  • All healthcare professionals with direct patient contact8
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Booster vaccination is also important for adolescents and adults

  • Immunity wanes over time, so you may no longer be protected against diseases which you were previously immunized against4,8
  • Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family against infectious diseases4,8

Ask your doctor about the recommended adolescent and adult booster vaccine

Medical References

  1. Rothstein E, Edwards K. Health Burden of Pertussis in Adolescents and Adults 2005. The Paedatric Infectious Disease Journal. 24:S44-S47.
  2. Guiso N, et al. The Global Pertussis Initiative: report from a round table meeting to discuss the epidemiology and detection of pertussis 2011. Vaccines. 29:1115-1121.
  3. Soofie N, et al. The Burden of Pertussis Hospitalization in HIV-Exposed and HIVUnexposed South African Infants. CID 2016;63 (Suppl 4):S165-S173.
  4. Stark K, et al. Seroprevalence and determinants of diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis antibodies among adults in Berlin, Germany.
    Vaccine. 1999;17;844-850.
  5. WHO, Diphtheria vaccine position paper, Weekly Epidemiological Record. 2006;81(3):29.
  6. WHO, Polio vaccines and polio immunisation in the pre-eradication era: WHO position paper. Weekly Epidemiology Record 2010.
  7. WHO, International travel and health. Available at Accessed July 2013. 
  8. Kretsinger K, et al. Preventing tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis among adults: use of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria
    toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep. 2006;55(RR-17):1-37.

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