Adacel is a vaccine that prevents tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) in people 11 to 64 years of age. It is a "booster" vaccine that is generally given as a single, one-time injection. After receiving this vaccine, the standard Td vaccine (for diphtheria and tetanus) is recommended once every 10 years. At this time, there are no universally accepted off-label uses for Adacel.
Adacel® (Tdap vaccine) is a "booster" vaccine used for the prevention of pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, and diphtheria in people 11 to 64 years of age.
Previously, the pertussis vaccine was given only as a childhood vaccine (as part of the DTaP series). Individuals who completed the DTaP series of vaccinations received boosters of just the diphtheria and tetanus components (as the Td vaccine), usually once every 10 years.
However, healthcare providers began noticing that pertussis seemed to be on the rise in adults and adolescents (who had been vaccinated as children and should have been protected from the disease).
It is now known that the childhood DTaP series does not provide sufficient protection from pertussis throughout adolescence and adulthood. As a result, this vaccine was developed in order to provide a booster of additional protection from pertussis. It is generally given as just a single dose, except for pregnant women, who should receive a dose with each pregnancy (even if they have had the vaccine before). After receiving this vaccine, the standard Td vaccine (which was given in the past) is recommended once every 10 years, just as was previously recommended.
Because pertussis is especially dangerous for newborns and young infants, Adacel is especially important for new parents or others who will be in contact with young infants. In fact, it is recommended that mothers who have not received the Tdap vaccine (either Adacel or Boostrix®) should be vaccinated as soon as possible after childbirth (usually while still in the hospital).