Tetanus Immunisation

What Is Tetanus Immunisation?

Tetanus immunisation is a vaccination given to protect against the infectious bacterial agent, Clostridium tetani. This particular bacteria produces a toxin that can cause a severe form of muscle spasms called ‘tetanus’. It is an important vaccine for young children and adults alike, as it can cause serious and even fatal illness.

Types of Tetanus Immunisation

Tetanus immunisation is usually administered as a combination vaccine with four components, including diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).

  • DTaP – the diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis vaccine is most commonly used in children under the age of seven.
  • Tdap – the tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine is given to adolescents and adults.
  • Td – the tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine is usually given for booster doses or if the individual has an allergy to pertussis.

When Should You Get Tetanus Immunisation?

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a primary series of tetanus immunisation for all individuals beginning at two months of age. It is important to follow the recommended immunisation schedule for the best protection. Generally, a single booster dose of the Tdap vaccine is recommended during adolescence and a booster dose of the Td vaccine every 10 years throughout adulthood.

Are There Any Side Effects?

As with all vaccinations, there may be some side effects associated with tetanus immunisation. These can include pain, redness, tenderness and swelling at the injection site. Other possible side effects include mild fever, irritability, fussiness and headache. Generally, any side effects are mild and temporary. Always consult with your doctor if you have concerns or questions regarding the vaccine.