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Updated: 1 day ago

What is Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis?

  • Also known as DTap or Tdap

  • Tetanus is an infection caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani, and it enters the body through broken skin. Cases are most often most due to cuts, scrapes and wounds with objects contaminated with this bacteria.

  • Diphtheria  is a bacterial disease spread through respiratory droplets from sneezing or coughing. These droplets can survive on surfaces such as desks or toys for extended periods and cause infections. 

  • Pertussis or whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial infection caused by Bordetella pertussis. This infection affects the airways, and the bacteria release toxins that cause swelling and airway damage. Infection occurs through close contact. 

What are the symptoms of Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis?

  • Tetanus symptoms can be severe such as muscle spasms, changes in blood pressure, and jaw cramping. 

  • Diphtheria produces a toxin that causes weakness, sore throat, fever, swollen neck glands.

  • Pertussis symptoms can begin as fever, cough, breathing issues and can lead to rapid coughing, fatigue, vomiting and pneumonia. Sometimes, a seal-like barky cough can occur in babies or infants.

When should you receive the Tetanus, Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine?

  • Currently, Public Health nurses usually give 5 doses of Tdap vaccine to children by the age of 6.

  • Some groups, including health care workers or health care students may require a Tdap booster before 10 years.

  • Alberta Health now covers the cost of the Tdap vaccine in some pharmacies (including Axis Pharmacy Clinic) in the following scenarios:

    • A booster for adults every ten years.

    • For each pregnancy a booster between 27-32 weeks, to protect your baby from whooping cough.

    • If it has been more than 5 years since your last booster, and you have had a recent wound that may put you at risk for tetanus infection.

  • Depending on your previous vaccination history, you may be eligible for a booster shot. Ask Eli or Doug if this vaccine may be right for you!

  • Writer's pictureAxis Pharmacy Clinic

What is Polio (poliomyelitis)?

  • Polio is a virus that often is mild but in some cases can be life altering and sometimes deadly. 

  • It is most often spread through the fecal-oral route by contact with stool from an infected individual

  • Polio is extremely rare in Canada since the introduction of the polio vaccine, cases may still be seen for those who have travelled to endemic polio countries. 

What are the symptoms?

  • Most often people who are infected show no symptoms, around one in four will have flu-like symptoms

  • Some of the minor symptoms include sore throat, fever, fatigue, nausea, and headache.

  • Rare but serious symptoms include inflammation of the central nervous system, paralysis, permanent disability and sometimes death. 

What is the Polio (Poliomyelitis) Vaccine?

  • The polio vaccine provides immunity in individuals close to 95% of time after the primary series, and close to 100% after the single booster dose.  

Who should have the Polio Vaccine?

  • Most children will have had 5 doses of the vaccine by the age of 5 years old. [Alberta Immunization Schedule]

  • Some adults who handle polio or healthcare workers who may contact infected people may need to have a Polio booster

  • Ask Eli or Doug if this vaccine may be right for you!

For more information check out the Canadian Immunization Guide

Updated: Mar 12

Priorix (measles, mumps, rubella vaccine)

Measles cases have been detected in developed countries including the United Kingdom, Austria and Belgium. The World Health Organization reported 58,000 cases of measles in the year of 2023 in Europe.

Signs and symptoms of measles may include high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. These symptoms usually begin after 7 - 14 days from first contact. After several days of symptoms, a measles rash may occur and can result in severe illness. Contact your physician if you believe you may have been exposed to measles.

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam made the statement below in February 2024:

I strongly advise everyone in Canada to be vaccinated with two doses of a measles vaccine, especially before travelling.

Importantly, before travelling:

  • Children and adolescents should ensure that they have received both doses of a measles-containing vaccine.

  • Infants between 6 and less than 12 months of age should receive a dose of measles-containing vaccine if travelling to a high-risk area. A health care provider can advise on the best approach for your child.

  • Adults should ensure they have received two doses of a measles-containing vaccine if they were born in 1970 or later, and one dose of a measles-containing vaccine if born before 1970.

From 1982, Public Health in Alberta provided a combined Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine as a routine immunization for infants at 12 months of age.

The available vaccines in Canada contain Measles, Mumps and Rubella in combination. We recommend checking with your healthcare provider or immunization records to confirm if you have adequate protection.

Eli C, BSc Pharmacy

Axis Pharmacy Clinic

3503 20 St SW, Marda Loop, Calgary

Travel Clinic vaccinations

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