The tetanus vaccine is recommended for those who have not had a tetanus shot within the past 10 years.
Available at all Away Clinic locations:
Away Clinic is an Arizona-based travel vaccine provider specializing in hard-to-find vaccines and expert medical advice for international travelers. Vaccines are administered by a registered nurse following CDC guidelines.
Tetanus is a vaccine-preventable disease from bacteria that causes painful muscle contractions. It is also known as “lockjaw” due to causing someone’s neck and jaw muscles to clench shut.
What are the symptoms of tetanus?
Common symptoms include muscle spasms, stiff muscles, tension, painful spasms, rigid abdominal muscles, and difficulty swallowing. Without treatment, 25% of infected people die. With treatment by medical professionals, less than 15% of patients die.
Symptoms develop 4 to 21 days after infection, the average is 10 days. Seeking medical treatment as soon as possible is the best course of action.
How do you get tetanus?
Tetanus spores hide in soil and animal excretions before getting into wounds and cuts. Some tetanus cases have come from scratches that occurred while gardening. Even only having the topmost layer of skin scraped off can put someone at risk of contracting tetanus.
How do I prevent tetanus?
The tetanus vaccine is the best way to protect against tetanus. Keeping wounds clean and free of dirt or animal excretions is also important. The Tdap vaccine is recommended during pregnancy and can help protect newborns until they can receive the vaccine themselves.
Neonatal tetanus is a big issue in developing countries. It occurs when non-sterile tools are used to cut the umbilical cord. These babies stop feeding, become very stiff, and many of them die.
What if I got a tetanus shot sometime recently, but don’t remember when?
If you aren’t sure when the last time you received a tetanus shot, a booster never hurts. It just helps your body boost immunity and remember how to fight off the disease. Tetanus boosters are recommended every ten years. Most children received their last tetanus vaccine at age 11 years.