Do you know when you had your last tetanus shot? Most people donít realize that even small wounds from flood clean-up, sports, gardening, home renovation and other summer activities can put you at risk for tetanus, a severe infection that can sometimes be fatal.
Who should get Td or Tdap vaccine?
Adolescents and adults who have not had any kind of tetanus shot in the last 10 years should get the Td or Tdap booster. You should also update your protection if you have a dirty wound and it's been more than 5 years since your last tetanus shot.
About Tetanus Vaccination
Vaccination is the best way to protect against tetanus. A combination vaccine, called the Td (tetanus diphtheria) booster or Tdap (tetanus diphtheria pertussis), protects against both tetanus and diphtheria. A Td or Tdap booster is recommended every 10 years. To schedule an appointment to receive tetanus or other immunizations, call your local First District Health Unit office.
How do I know when I last had a tetanus shot?
Check your immunization records wherever you have received vaccinations. Your tetanus immunization maybe listed as Td or Tdap.
What is tetanus?
Tetanus, commonly called lockjaw, is a bacterial disease that affects the nervous system. It is contracted through a cut or wound that becomes contaminated with tetanus bacteria. The bacteria can get in through even a tiny pinprick or scratch, but deep puncture wounds or cuts like those made by nails or knives are especially susceptible to infection with tetanus. Tetanus bacteria are present worldwide and are commonly found in soil, dust and manure. Infection with tetanus causes severe muscle spasms, leading to "locking" of the jaw so the patient cannot open his/her mouth or swallow, and may even lead to death by suffocation. Tetanus is not transmitted from person to person. Tetanus is a serious illness resulting in a long hospitalization and recovery process. About 10% of cases result in death.
More information on tetanus