Td-IPV (tetanus, diphtheria and polio) vaccine

Date: October 2016, Version 1

What is it?

Td-IPV vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria and polio. Most people in the UK over the age of 10 years who require booster vaccination against any of these illnesses will receive a vaccine called Revaxis® that protects against all three. Single vaccines against these illnesses are not available in the UK.

Is it safe to have the Td-IPV vaccine in pregnancy?

There are no specific studies of use of Td-IPV vaccines in pregnancy. Tetanus, diphtheria and polio are serious and/or life-threatening. The Department of Health in the UK therefore advises that pregnant women should be vaccinated if protection is required, as the risk from these illnesses to both mother and baby is likely to be far greater than any possible risk from the vaccine.

Studies of over 6,600 pregnant women who received a similar vaccine called Tdap-IPV (which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, polio, and also whooping cough) after 28 weeks of pregnancy have shown that women who were vaccinated were no more likely to have a stillbirth, a baby with a low birth weight, or a baby who is born earlier than expected than women who were not vaccinated with Tdap-IPV. Because very few women have received Tdap-IPV in early pregnancy it is not yet possible to say whether vaccination during the first trimester of pregnancy might be linked to miscarriage or birth defects in the baby. The little information that we do have so far does not, however, suggest that there would be any increased risk of these outcomes.

Can I still have the whooping cough vaccination (Boostrix IPV®) in pregnancy if I have recently had a Td-IPV booster?

Yes, ideally four weeks apart. Because both Boostrix IPV® and the Td-IPV vaccine protect against tetanus, diphtheria and polio, this is a common question. The Td-IPV vaccine does not protect against whooping cough and there is no single whooping cough vaccine available in the UK. Women who have recently had a Td-IPV booster should therefore still receive the whooping cough vaccine after week 16 of pregnancy to protect the baby from catching whooping cough after birth (for more information please see the bump leaflet on whooping cough vaccination in pregnancy). It is recommended that the Td-IPV and whooping cough vaccines ideally be given four weeks apart. 

A single study has shown that women who received the whooping cough vaccine in pregnancy following a recent (within two years) tetanus booster were not at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes compared to women vaccinated against whooping cough who had not had a recent tetanus booster.

Will my baby need extra monitoring during pregnancy?

Being vaccinated with Td-IPV during pregnancy is not expected to cause any problems that would require extra monitoring of your baby.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions regarding the information in this leaflet please discuss them with your health care provider. They can access more detailed medical and scientific information from

How can I help to improve drug safety information for pregnant women in the future?

Our online reporting system (MyBump Portal) allows women who are currently pregnant to create a secure record of their pregnancy, collected through a series of questionnaires. You will be asked to enter information about your health, whether or not you take any medicines, your pregnancy outcome and your child's development. You can update your details at any time during pregnancy or afterwards. This information will help us better understand how medicines affect the health of pregnant women and their babies. Please visit the MyBump Portal to register.

General information
Sadly, miscarriage and birth defects can occur in any pregnancy.

Miscarriage occurs in about 1 in every 5 pregnancies, and 1 in every 40 babies are born with a birth defect. This is called the ‘background risk’ and happens whether medication is taken or not.

Most medicines cross the placenta and reach the baby. For many medications this is not a problem. However, some medicines can affect a baby’s growth and development.

If you take regular medication and are planning to conceive, you should discuss whether your medicine is safe to continue with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant. If you have an unplanned pregnancy while taking a medicine, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.

If a new medicine is suggested for you during pregnancy, please make sure that the person prescribing it knows that you are pregnant. If you have any concerns about a medicine, you can check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist.

Our Bumps information leaflets provide information about the effects of medicines in pregnancy so that you can decide, together with your healthcare provider, what is best for you and your baby.