Everything You Need To Know About The Tetanus Vaccine

Everything You Need To Know About The Tetanus Vaccine

Vaccinating your child as per the recommended schedule can help improve the immune response of the body. One such vaccine which is very important for children who are more susceptible to wounds and injuries is the tetanus vaccine. Here is everything that you need to know about this vaccine.

What Exactly Is Tetanus?

Tetanus is a type of infection that is caused when a bacteria called Clostridium tetani enters the body. This bacteria is very commonly found in the soil and therefore when someone falls and has a puncture wound, the risk of developing this condition increases. It can lead to a frozen jaw as a result of muscle contractions. That is why this condition is also known as “lockjaw”. It can also impact the nervous system. The worst part is that this condition is permanent as the toxins are very difficult to remove from the body.

This can be prevented with a tetanus shot after injury. It is even better if the vaccination is provided at a young age as per the schedule provided by the doctor.

Also read: 9 Vaccination Myths and Realities

What Is The Tetanus Vaccine?

The occurrence of tetanus has greatly reduced since the development of the tetanus vaccine in the late 1800s in Germany. Today, it is available all over the world and is an important part of the vaccination schedule for babies. Today, there are four kinds of tetanus vaccines that protect your child not only from tetanus but from other conditions as well. These four types of tetanus shots are as follows:

  • Diphtheria and Tetanus Vaccine or DT Vaccines
  • Tetanus and Diptheria Vaccines or Td Vaccines
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccines or DTaP Vaccines
  • Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccines or Tdap Vaccines

Normally, for children who are less than 7 years of age, the DT vaccine or the DTaP vaccine is provided. In the case of children above the age of 7 or adults, a Td or Tdap Vaccine is provided. It is essential that the initial vaccination schedule for tetanus be followed strictly to prevent any issues when your child is older and has any puncture wounds.

Tetanus Vaccination Schedule

Tetanus Vaccination is recommended for individuals of all ages. However, there is a vaccination schedule that is prescribed for babies that is most important. The tetanus vaccine given in the initial years is called the DTaP vaccine. This keeps the child protected against diphtheria, tetanus as well as whooping cough.

The schedule for this is as follows:

  • Four doses of DTaP Vaccine should be provided before the child turns 2 years old. This tetanus shot is given when the child is 2 months old, 4 months old, 6 months old and 15 months old or 18 months old.
  • A booster shot is provided between the ages of 4 years to 6 years to ensure that that the child is fully protected.
  • For pre-teens or teens, it is recommended that they get a shot of the Tdap Vaccine. This should be taken when the child is 11 or 12 years old.

Tetanus booster shots are recommended all through your life to ensure that you are fully protected. It is best for adults to get a Td booster shot once every 10 years to prevent any infections or to prevent the development of the condition mentioned above.

Also read: Painful vs Painless vaccination. Which one is more effective and why?

In case an individual has not received the vaccination as a child, it is a good idea to get a Tdap vaccine. This can be taken in place of the regular Td booster shot that is recommended. It is a good idea to consult the doctor before taking this vaccine as an adult.

Important Pointers For Tetanus Vaccine

Normally, the tetanus vaccine is very safe. It does cause very mild side effects such as nausea or fever. However, it does not hamper the health of the individual. That said, there are certain exceptions and some children may have an adverse reaction to this vaccine. You must make sure that the healthcare provider is notified if:

  • The child had an allergic reaction to the last DTaP dose or has any general allergies that can be serious.
  • The child has had seizures or has slipped into a coma within 7 days of providing the last DTaP shot.
  • The child has displayed any other problem related to the nervous system besides seizures.
  • The child has a preexisting condition known as the Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
  • The child had severe swelling and pain after the last dose of the vaccine.

Also read: Most common questions asked by parents regarding vaccination

If your child is unwell during the scheduled vaccination appointment, it is a good idea to wait until the child recovers. If any of the above situations occur, the booster shot or the next dose may be postponed.

Want to share your experience as a mom with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you