Tetanus Injection

Tetanus Injection

We offer Tetanus vaccines at our clinic. Tetanus vaccines (shots) are given to provide immunity and prevent Tetanus, or lock jaw. Tetanus is a serious infection that is caused by Clostridium tetani a type of bacteria. It affects the nervous system and causes muscles to tighten in the jaw and neck. It can also spread to other parts of the body. A person becomes infected when spores of the Clostridium Tetani bacterium enter the blood stream. This normally happens via open wounds. Once the spores are in the blood stream, they can spread to the central nervous system and produce a toxin that blocks the nerve signals from your spinal cord to your muscles.

When should I get a tetanus Shot? It is recommended you get a Tetanus shot if you have recently had any of the following injuries or wounds: Crush injuries, injuries
with dead tissue, burns, puncture wounds (from piercings, tattoos, injection drug usage) injuries such as stepping on a nail or other sharp object or animal bites. If you seek medical care for a wound or an injury, your doctor will ask you when your last tetanus shot was administered. If you are not up to date with your immunizations you should receive a Tetanus booster/vaccine. Tetanus boosters are needed every ten years to ensure immunity. However if you have a high risk exposure to tetanus we re-vaccinate if it has been over 5 years.

You may walk into Doctors Urgent Care and receive this vaccine without seeing the physician.

If you suspect you have Tetanus or start to experience symptoms of Tetanus, you will need to seek treatment in a hospital setting immediately, NOT an Urgent Care or Primary care. This is considered a medical emergency.

Symptoms of Tetanus
Symptoms begin 7-8 days after the Tetanus bacteria enter the body.

Symptoms include:

  • spasms in the jaw muscles
  • stiff muscles in neck, shoulder, and back
  • difficulty swallowing
  • arched back from contraction of back muscles
  • fever and profuse sweating
  • high blood pressure
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • seizures
  • difficulty breathing

What to expect when you come into our clinic

A member of our trained medical staff will first have you read and sign a Tetanus Injection consent form before administering the injection. This will give you an overview of exactly what to expect throughout the whole process. After that, the skin is cleaned with alcohol wipes and the injection is given in the Deltoid muscle (upper arm). An adhesive bandage is then placed over the injection site. The most common side effect is pain in the area where the patient was injected. This side effect is present in
approximately 75% of all people who get a Tetanus shot. This is not a dangerous side effect. You may feel numbness in the arm after the injection was given as
well. This is also a normal side effect. Less common side effects are nausea, headaches, vomiting, swelling, redness and low-grade fevers. In almost all cases side effects do not require any form of treatment. Symptoms normally resolve on their own after a few days. Some discomfort can be treated with over the counter pain killers. You cannot get Tetanus from the vaccine.

Tetanus vaccines come in combination with other vaccines. Our vaccine is combined with a vaccine for Diphtheria (a bacterial infection of the throat). It will prevent both types of infections. Some medical offices have a vaccine that also combines with Pertussis (whooping cough). We do not provide the combination DTaP vaccine which includes Pertussis.