Who Needs a Tetanus Booster Shot
Did you know that spores of the tetanus bacteria Clostridium tetani are all around us? The bacteria live in dust, soil, manure and other environmental agents. They typically enter the body through a cut or puncture wound from a contaminated object, or even a break in the skin. The feet are especially vulnerable because of their proximity to the ground where the bacteria are most often found.
Once inside the body, tetanus bacteria produce a toxin that affects the nervous system and causes severe muscle spasms and seizures. In one to two in 10 cases, tetanus spasms lead to respiratory failure or other fatal health complications.
Tetanus infection can affect people of all ages. This is why children should be immunized against the disease, and a routine tetanus booster is recommended for adults.
Tetanus Vaccine Recommendations
- Babies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all babies be immunized against tetanus infection with the DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) vaccine at ages 2, 4, and 6 months, and again at 15 through 18 months old.
- Young children. After the initial DTaP vaccine series, a DTaP booster is recommended at age 4 to 6 years.
- Preteens and teens. At 11 or 12 years, children should get the Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) vaccine, a booster shot that complements DTaP and protects against the same three diseases.
- Adults. A Td (Tetanus and Diphtheria) booster is recommended every 10 years. One dose of Tdap vaccine is recommended for adults who did not get it as a preteen or teen.
- Pregnant women. One dose of Tdap should be given during each pregnancy. The whooping cough vaccine is safe for pregnant women. A mother who has been immunized passes antibodies to her unborn baby that provide crucial protection against whopping cough during the first two months after birth, before the infant can be vaccinated.
Get Vaccinated at RediClinic
Your board-certified RediClinic clinician can answer any questions you have about the tetanus booster and ensure you are fully immunized against this serious disease. We also offer a wide range of other immunizations for individuals age 18 months and older.
Walk in or schedule a same- or next-day appointment online today — We’re in select H-E-B & Rite Aid stores, open 7 days a week to care for you!
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