McMaster University

McMaster University


Pertussis Vaccine (Tdap) Information

The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) Communicable Diseases Protocols and the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine (COFM) Immunization Policy have included the following requirement for health care workers since 2014/2015:

All adult (≥ age 18 years) health care and child care workers, regardless of age, should receive a single dose of Tdap vaccine for pertussis protection if this vaccine was not previously administered in adulthood, even if the person is not due for a tetanus and diphtheria booster.

The adult dose is in addition to the routine adolescent booster dose. The interval between the last tetanus-diphtheria booster and the Tdap vaccine does not matter.

N.B. Students entering Year 1 who are currently under age 18 years are required to document an adolescent Tdap vaccine given age 14-17 years. A booster dose of vaccine will be required in Year 2.

Previous immunization against pertussis or a history of natural pertussis infection does not provide lifelong immunity. There is no routine antibody testing available to determine immune status to pertussis.

Adverse reactions to Tdap vaccine are less common in adults than adolescents. The interval between a previous dose of Td vaccine and a dose of Tdap vaccine does not affect the rate of injection site or systemic adverse events.

The requirement for an Tdap vaccine applies to all learners in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University who will be participating in clinical electives or placements. Learners who do not comply with this immunization policy may be excluded from clinical activities. An exemption will only be allowed for medical reasons, in which case a note from a physician must be submitted.

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