Tetanus, otherwise known as lockjaw, is a serious bacterial infection that affects your nervous system. It causes painful muscle contractions and can lead to death if left untreated. Tetanus bacteria, present in manure, soil, saliva, and dust can enter a human body through puncture wounds. It can spread through contact with a contaminated surface or objects. The tetanus vaccination can prevent the disease.
Read more about the tetanus disease and its vaccination below.
It takes a few days to several weeks or even longer to develop symptoms after the initial infection. Common signs of tetanus include:
A tetanus shot is usually given to children to prevent them from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. If you did not receive vaccination yet, you should consider talking to your doctor to get a three-dose primary series. The first dose includes a three-in-one combination called Tdap, it protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. The remaining two doses include a dual vaccine which protects you against tetanus and diphtheria. You receive these vaccinations in the shoulder muscle, over a period of 7 months to one year.
You should get the tetanus vaccine if you:
Tetanus vaccination is recommended for pregnant women. Consult your doctor before getting the vaccination if you experience a moderate to severe acute illness.
You should not receive a tetanus shot if you:
Ensure each one of your family is protected against tetanus by:
All adults are recommended to receive a tetanus shot every 10 years. If you experience a serious puncture wound, you should get a tetanus booster, regardless of when you received your last tetanus shot.
The tetanus vaccine can cause moderate side effects including:
Even though it is rare that this vaccination causes a severe allergic reaction, here are some side effects to look out for:
Contact us or visit our urgent care clinic to learn more about tetanus disease and its vaccinations or to receive any other urgent medical attention.