What to Know About Getting a Tetanus Shot
Getting a vaccination can help protect you and your loved ones from the effects of tetanus. However, there are many misconceptions about tetanus and the necessity of getting vaccinated. Take a few minutes to learn some important information about receiving the tetanus shots you need.
Tetanus, or lockjaw, is a potentially fatal medical condition that results from an infection of the Clostridium tetani bacteria. The toxin the bacteria releases can cause severe muscle spasms that may be limited to just one part of your body or that may affect your entire body. Some of the initial signs of tetanus can include fever, sweating, difficulty with swallowing and neck stiffness.
What Exactly is the Tetanus Shot?
The vaccine used to protect against tetanus is a toxoid, which means that it can protect you from the toxin produced by the Clostridium tetani bacteria. It can completely prevent the onset of tetanus and is administered as part of immunizations during childhood. Children who are immunized against tetanus receive the DTaP vaccine, which also safeguards against pertussis and diphtheria. Adults and children are also able to receive vaccines that are specially formulated for them.
The Side Effects of Tetanus Shots
You may feel a sting when the vaccine is injected. Other than some redness and swelling at the injection site, there are few other side effects that you are likely to experience. The chances that you will have a serious adverse response to the shot are extremely low.
When Should You Get a Tetanus Shot
The tetanus vaccine can be administered to children when they are very young. Infants receive four doses of the vaccination when they are two, four and six months old as well as between 15 to 18 months old. When they reach four to six years of age, they should receive another vaccination. After these shots, it is recommended that they get vaccinated with booster shots containing Td, or the combination of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, every ten years as the amount of antitoxin in the body tends to decline as time passes. Children who are 11 to 12 years old should receive a single dose of Tdap, which is similar to Td but also protects against pertussis.
Beyond childhood immunizations, it is recommended that you get vaccinated if:
- More than ten years have passed since you received a tetanus vaccine.
- You receive a deep wound that is dirty, and you have not received a vaccine dose within the last five years.
- You did not receive any of the recommended childhood doses.
At PrimeCare Urgent Care, we provide tetanus booster shots for both adults and children. Contact us to learn more about this vaccination or stop by our office today.