To prevent, but not to treat, tetanus (lockjaw)
Tetanus toxoid stimulates the body's immune system to produce protective antibodies against tetanus.
Depending on the type of vaccine being administered, injections are given in the upper arm or midthigh, either into a muscle or under the skin. For adults, children, and infants 6 weeks of age and older: An initial dose at first visit, a second dose eight weeks later. Depending on the vaccine being used, a third dose may be given eight weeks after the second dose, and a fourth dose six to 12 months later (usually at 15 to 18 months of age in infants). Booster shots should be administered every 10 years. If you sustain a wound that is unclean or difficult to clean, you may need an emergency booster injection if more than five years have elapsed since your last booster shot.
Most patients develop immunity following the second dose.
Up to 10 years
It may be administered without regard to diet.
Not applicable; the immunizations are administered only at a health-care facility.
If you miss a scheduled vaccination, contact your doctor to reschedule it.
Follow the full immunization schedule unless a medical problem arises that rules out receiving a vaccination.
No special problems are expected.
Tetanus toxoid should not cause different or more severe side effects in older patients than in younger persons. Vaccine may be slightly less effective. Two-thirds of all tetanus cases in the past few years have been in people age 50 and older.
The administration of tetanus toxoid should not impair your ability to perform such tasks safely.
No special precautions are necessary.
Adequate studies have not been done. However, if the mother is immune to tetanus, tetanus antibodies from the mother can protect the child from tetanus infection at birth.
Tetanus toxoid has not been shown to cause problems during breast-feeding.
Not recommended for use by children less than 6 weeks old.
Regardless of immunization status, dirty wounds should always be properly cleaned and treated.
No specific ones have been reported.
If any unexplained symptoms arise after receiving an immunization, call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center.
Other drugs may interact with tetanus toxoid. Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication.
No known food interactions
Consult your doctor if you have had a severe reaction or a high fever following a previous injection; or if you have pneumonia, bronchitis, or another illness affecting the lungs; any severe illness that is causing fever; or neurological disorders or a history of seizures.