What is Boostrix?

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  • Written By: O. Wallace
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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Boostrix is the brand name for the Tdap vaccine, which is designed for teens and preteens aged 10 to 18 years old. Boostrix, which was approved for use in 2005 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), gives this age group protection against whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus and diphtheria. It is at this age in particular that the protection received from vaccinations given in early childhood begins to wear off. The vaccine, which is currently made and marketed by GlaxoSmithKline, is recommended by the Society for Adolescent Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Whooping cough may start out like a common cold, but progresses to a severe cough when a thick mucous coats the airways. An average case of whooping cough can last up to 106 days and can lead to loss of sleep, pneumonia and vomiting. Although it is not as serious in adolescents, it can be transmitted to younger children and those with suppressed immune systems due to its highly contagious nature.

Prior to the approval of Boostrix, a booster shot was given to protect against tetanus and diphtheria. Tetanus can be very serious when it leads to lockjaw. Diphtheria causes breathing difficulties and possible paralysis. The benefit of Boostrix is that it combines protection against all three illnesses in a single shot.


Because it is a newer shot, Boostrix may not be available at all doctor’s offices or covered by every insurance company. Parents may have to insist upon their child receiving it and be prepared to pay for it out of pocket if their insurance does not cover it. As with any vaccine, there is no guarantee that everyone receiving Boostrix will get 100% protection against the viruses. Some elementary, middle and high schools are beginning to add the vaccine to their list of required vaccinations, in addition to some colleges.

Adacel, a similar booster vaccine for ages 11 to 64, is currently under review by the FDA. Approval of Adacel will give families the opportunity to vaccinate the entire family against pertussis, tetanus and diphtheria.

Like any vaccination, Boostrix has possible side effects. The most common is irritation and redness around the site of the shot. Less common side effects include headaches, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Those sensitive or allergic to yeast, neomycin and polymyxin B should consult their doctor before receiving any vaccination. For parents who have reservations about preservatives in vaccinations, Boostrix does not contain thimerosal, a common vaccine preservative.


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Post 2

Food for thought:

1. if you carried the Bostrix would you need to carry Adacel?

2. Consider the price (as well as the Gross Margin) of carrying the more "all inclusive" brand

3. Consider as well, the market demand. I know about this one personally. My son is ten years old and about to begin school and in two different locations in two different states (GA, FL) age 10 is mandatory to begin school. would the Adacel be able to handle this?

Anyway, hope I at least got you thinking.

Misc. Analyst

Post 1

We are currently using Adacel in our office. It is indicated for 11-64 year old patients. Would the only advantage to our adding Boostrix be that we would now be able to vaccinate our 10 year old patients. We also have Infanrix in the office.


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