Teenage Booster Vaccine

Key vaccine facts

The Teenage Booster vaccine used in the UK boosts protection against the following serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and polio. Before vaccines existed, these diseases used to kill thousands of children in the UK every year.

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 brand name of the Teenage Booster vaccine used in the UK is Revaxis (see the Patient Information Leaflet ). It does not contain any live bacteria or viruses and cannot cause any of the diseases it protects against.

The Teenage Booster vaccine contains a lower dosage of the diphtheria vaccine when compared to the early childhood vaccines. 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.

Ingredients

The Teenage Booster vaccine used in the UK is called Revaxis. Apart from the active ingredients (the antigens), it contains very small amounts of these ingredients:

  • Aluminium, which strengthens and lengthens the immune response to the vaccine
  • Polysorbate, used as an emulsifier to hold other ingredients together
  • A very small amount of phenol, used as a preservative
  • Medium 199 (containing amino acids, mineral salts and vitamins), used as a stabiliser

The vaccine may also contain a tiny trace of formaldehyde, used during the manufacturing process to inactivate (kill) the viruses in the vaccine.

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

Other brands of Teenage Booster vaccine used in other countries may contain different ingredients. If you are not in the UK, ask for the Patient Information leaflet for the vaccine you are offered.

Side effects

Very common (affecting more than 1 in 10 people at each dose):

  • redness, pain, hardness and/or swelling at the injection site.

Common (affecting up to 1 in 10 people at each dose):

  • dizziness
  • feeling sick or being sick (nausea and vomiting)
  • raised temperature (fever)
  • headache

Uncommon (affecting up to 1 in 100 people at each dose):

  • swollen glands (lymphadenopathy)
  • feeling generally unwell
  • muscle pains (myalgia)

Rare (affecting up to 1 in 1000 people at each dose):

  • joint pains (arthralgia)

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.

If you are concerned about any reactions that occur after vaccination, consult your doctor. In the UK you can report suspected vaccine side effects to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) through the Yellow Card Scheme . You can also view data on Yellow Card reports for individual products . See more information on the Yellow Card scheme and monitoring of vaccine safety.

Page last updated: 
Monday, September 3, 2018

Diseases

Tetanus

Tetanus is an infection of the nervous system that is always serious and often fatal. The... Read more

Polio (Poliomyelitis)

Polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus. The virus reproduces itself in the gut and can... Read more

Diphtheria

Diphtheria is a serious and life-threatening infectious disease. It is very infectious and can... Read more