Adolescents and adults who have never had a diphtheria-containing vaccine are recommended to receive:

  • 3 doses of dT vaccine with at least 4 weeks between doses
  • booster doses at 10 years and 20 years after the primary course

These people should receive 1 of the 3 primary doses (preferably the 1st) as dTpa, to protect against pertussis. If dT vaccine is not available, they can receive dTpa vaccine for all primary doses.3

If the person is pregnant, they are recommended to receive 3 doses of diphtheria-containing vaccine at 0, 4 weeks and 6–12 months. 1 dose of dTpa should replace dT, preferably in the 3rd trimester,4 to protect the infant against pertussis. See Pertussis and Pregnant women are recommended to receive a single dose of dTpa vaccine in each pregnancy.

Catch-up vaccination has details on managing people aged ≥10 years who have never received dT vaccine and need catch-up doses.

Check the recommended intervals between doses when giving dTpa or dT in a catch-up schedule.

See Table. Catch-up schedule for people ≥10 years of age (for vaccines recommended on a population level) in Catch-up vaccination.

Page history

Last updated: 
4 June 2018
Last reviewed: 
4 June 2018


diphtheria-tetanus vaccine for use in adults
diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine, reduced antigen content formulation