Tetanus (lockjaw) is a serious disease that causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to "locking" of the jaw so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in about 1 in 10 cases. There are four combination vaccines used to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis among children, adolescents, and adults including DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td.
Women should receive Tdap during each of their pregnancies, preferably in the third trimester between the 27th and 36th week.
If you have not had a booster shot in 10 years or more, you should receive a tetanus shot
Who Should Not Get a Tetanus Vaccine?
- A person who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a previous dose of any diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis containing vaccine, OR has a severe allergy to any part of this vaccine, should not get Tdap vaccine.
- Anyone who had coma or long repeated seizures within 7 days after a childhood dose of DTP or DTaP, or a previous dose of Tdap, should not get Tdap, unless a cause other than the vaccine was found. They can still get Td.
- Talk to your doctor if you:
- have seizures or another nervous system problem,
- had severe pain or swelling after any vaccine containing diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis,
- ever had a condition called Guillain Barré Syndrome (GBS),
You aren't feeling well on the day the shot is scheduled.