The Td/IPV vaccine completes the 5 dose course that provides long-term protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and polio (with inactivated polio vaccine).
The vaccine's usually given between 13 and 18 years of age. Between S1 and S3, all young people are offered the Td/IPV vaccine by the NHS school health team at secondary school.
Tetanus is a painful disease affecting the nervous system that can lead to muscle spasms, cause breathing problems and even kill. It's caused when germs found in soil and manure get into the body through open cuts or burns.
Tetanus can't be passed from person to person.
More about tetanus
Diphtheria's a serious disease that usually begins with a sore throat and can quickly cause breathing problems. It can damage the heart and nervous system, and in severe cases, can kill.
Before the diphtheria vaccine was introduced in the UK, there were up to 70,000 cases of diphtheria a year, causing around 5,000 deaths.
Polio's a virus that attacks the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis of muscles. If it affects the chest muscles or the brain, polio can kill.
Before the polio vaccine was introduced, there were as many as 8,000 cases of polio in the UK in epidemic years. Because of the continued success of the polio vaccination, there have been no cases of natural polio infection in the UK for over 20 years (the last case was in 1984).
More about polio
If I was immunised against tetanus, diphtheria and polio as a child, am I still protected?
You may still have some protection, but you need this booster to complete your routine immunisations and give you longer-term protection.
How many boosters do I need to have?
You need a total of 5 doses of tetanus, diphtheria and polio vaccines to build up and keep your immunity.
You should have:
- the first 3 doses as a baby
- the fourth dose when you were aged from 3 years 4 months and before you started school
- the fifth dose between 13 and 18 years of age
Will I need more boosters in the future?
You'll probably not need further boosters of these vaccines. However, you may need extra doses of some vaccines if you're visiting certain countries. Check with the nurse at your GP practice.