Teenage booster Td/IPV Vaccine

Key Facts

This vaccine boosts protection against the following serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and polio.

It is given at around 14 years old in the UK schedule (usually in school year 9). This is about 10 years after the Pre-school Booster, which is routinely given at 3 years and 4 months.

The Teenage Booster vaccine contains a lower dosage of the diphtheria vaccine when compared to the early childhood vaccines. This is shown by the small ‘d’ in the vaccine title. The teenage immune system is able to respond to this reduced dose because it remembers the previous doses. The side effects are reduced as a result.

The Teenage Booster vaccine can safely be given at the same time as the MenACWY vaccine.


The polio part of the vaccine is grown in the laboratory using animal cell-lines. See more information on animal cell-lines.

It contains a small amount of aluminium which strengthens and lengthens the immune response to the vaccine. This is not a cause for concern. See more information on aluminium in vaccines.

The vaccine may also contain tiny traces of products used during the manufacturing process. Click on the links to see more information on our Ingredients page:

  • formaldehyde, used to inactivate the viruses in the vaccine

The Teenage Booster vaccine used in the UK does not contain the preservative thiomersal (mercury).

Side Effects

These reactions are common but not serious:

  • redness, tenderness and/or swelling at the injection site
  • slightly raised temperature
  • headache
  • sickness
  • dizziness

These reactions are rare:

  • high temperatures, sometimes leading to fits (also called convulsions or febrile seizures)
  • joint or muscle pain
  • diarrhoea
  • abdominal pain

You should consult your doctor if these reactions happen after vaccination. This is mainly to check that it is the vaccine causing the symptoms, and not some unrelated disease.

It is quite common for teenagers to have panic attacks before vaccination, or to faint during vaccination. These should not be confused with reactions to the vaccination itself.

As with any vaccine, medicine or food, there is a very small chance of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis is different from less severe allergic reactions because it causes life-threatening breathing and/or circulation problems. It is always serious but can be treated with adrenaline. In the UK between 1997 and 2003 there were a total of 130 reports of anaphylaxis following ALL immunisations, but all of these people survived. Around 117 million doses of vaccines were given in the UK during this period, making the overall rate around 1 in 900,000. Depending on the cause of the reaction, and following expert guidance, the person may be able to have vaccinations in the future.

Reactions listed under ‘possible side effects’ or ‘adverse events’ on vaccine product information sheets may not all be directly linked to the vaccine. See Vaccine side effects and adverse reactions for more information on why this is the case.

See more information on the monitoring of vaccine safety.

Published by Sarah Loving
Medical content reviewed by Professor Andrew Pollard
Please email us if you have comments about the Vaccine Knowledge website. We can’t answer all the individual queries we get, but we will use your suggestions and questions to improve the website. You should consult your doctor or other healthcare provider if you need specific advice on vaccines for you or your child.
Last updated 05 January 2016

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PHE infographic: the impact of vaccination on Diphtheria and other diseases

What to expect from the teenage booster vaccines - A film from Buckinghamshire County Council