Boostrix® is used for booster vaccination of adolescents aged 11 years and pregnant women between 28-38 weeks gestation* to protect against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). Boostrix® can also be used for catch-up immunisation for children aged 7 years# to under 18 years.

*After immunisation protection against pertussis takes up to two weeks to develop. Whilst immunisation between 38-40 weeks gestation is still safe for mother and baby later immunisation means the newborn may still be exposed to the disease by their mother on delivery and/or during the first two weeks of life. The PHARMAC decision to limit funded Boostrix® to 28-38 weeks gestation maximises the benefit of immunisation against pertussis whilst being accountable for the use of public funds. Pregnant women can choose to purchase Boostrix® privately after 38 weeks gestation or at any time after delivery.

#Although Boostrix® is not licensed for use in children aged 7 years to under 10 years it has been used in New Zealand and overseas in this age group and there are no safety concerns with off-label use.

What is the difference between Infanrix®-hexa, Infanrix®-IPV and Boostrix® vaccines?


The infant vaccine Infanrix®-hexa (DTaP-IPV-HepB/Hib) protects against six diseases (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease), while Infanrix®-IPV (DTaP-IPV) protects against the first four of these diseases. The adolescent and adult vaccine Boostrix® (Tdap) boosts protection against diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (whooping cough) but is sometimes used in a primary vaccine course.

The infant and adult vaccines contain different volumes of some active ingredients, or antigens. Infanrix®-hexa and Infanrix®-IPV have a higher volume of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis antigens, which are needed to stimulate a strong immune response. Boostrix® contains smaller doses of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis antigens, the immune response to these invaders already exists, so the vaccine is only required to "remind" the immune response about how to respond. Local site reactions to the tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccines increase after the fourth dose, so the smaller dose of these components also helps to avoid these reactions in adolescents.

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