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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Special Topics > Tetanus Immunization

Tetanus Immunization

Alternate Names : TD Booster, Tetanus Vaccination, Tetanus Booster, DPT Vaccination

A tetanus immunization is a vaccine that helps the body make antibodies to fight tetanus infection. A tetanus booster is a shot given after a first series of shots. It continues the protection against tetanus. Tetanus is an infection of the nervous system caused by the Clostridium tetani bacteria.

What is the information for this topic?

The mortality rate from tetanus is about 25% in the United States and 50% worldwide. Since tetanus is a very serious and deadly disease, tetanus vaccines and boosters are strongly recommended. The schedule for the tetanus vaccines and boosters is:

  • Tetanus is one of the recommended childhood immunizations. It is combined with the diphtheria and pertussis vaccines in the DPT vaccination. Doses of the vaccine are given three times: at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. Boosters are given between 15 and 18 months. They are given again at 5 years and 10 years. The vaccine is given by injection usually into the arm or the thigh.
  • The booster is recommended every 10 years, throughout life. Usually it is combined with the diphtheria booster. The combination is called a Td booster.
  • A person who gets a deep puncture wound more than 5 years after the last tetanus booster may be advised to get a tetanus booster.
  • The DPT vaccine may cause fever, irritability, and tenderness at the injection site. Most people do not have problems with the Td vaccine. When side effects do occur, they are usually mild.

    A healthcare provider may recommend measures to relieve the side effects. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be given to reduce fever and soreness. Warm packs can ease the discomfort. Frequent movement of the arm or leg into which the injection was given may help reduce soreness.

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 08/20/01

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