Boostrix® is used to protect against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough).
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.