Teenage boosters (Tetanus, diphtheria and polio (Td/IPV))

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The teenage booster vaccine used in the UK boosts protection against three serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and polio. Before vaccines existed, these diseases used to kill thousands of children in the UK every year as the table at the bottom of the page shows.

The teenage booster vaccine can safely be given at the same time as the MenACWY vaccine. It is a combination vaccine, which reduces the number of injections a child needs. Read more about combination vaccines and multiple vaccinations and why these are not a risk to your child's immune system.

The vaccine 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.

It does not contain any live bacteria or viruses and cannot cause any of the diseases it protects against.

The brand name of the teenage booster vaccine used in the UK is Revaxis (see the patient information leaflet).


The teenage booster vaccines are available for all eligible people as part of the routine immunisation schedule in the UK and is given at around 14 years old in the UK schedule (usually in school year 9).

The brand name of the teenage booster vaccine used in the UK is Revaxis (see the patient information leaflet). Revavix should not be given if the child is allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet. 


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 salts, 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.


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 extremely serious but can be treated with adrenaline. Healthcare workers who give vaccines know how to do this.

In the UK between 1997 and 2003 there were a total of 130 reports of anaphylaxis following ALL immunisations. Around 117 million doses of vaccines were given in the UK during this period. This means that the overall rate of anaphylaxis is around 1 in 900,000.

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 contact the MHRA to ask for data on Yellow Card reports for individual vaccines. See more information on the Yellow Card scheme and monitoring of vaccine safety.


The teenage booster vaccine is sometimes referred to as Td/IPV, which stands for 'Tetanus, diphtheria and Inactivated Polio Vaccine'. The small 'd' indicates that the 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.

This vaccine may also be recommended as a travel vaccine for people visiting some parts of the world.

The table below shows the average number of deaths in the UK each year, before and after introduction of a vaccine: 

Disease Before After
Diphtheria 3500 0
Tetanus 200 0
Polio 200 0
TOTAL 3900 0

Source: Public Health England


Page last updated Thursday, October 26, 2023