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How does a tetatnus shot work?

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You normally get tetanus shots in the deltoid (shoulder) muscle. If you didn't get the vaccine as a child, you'll start with a three-dose primary series over a period of seven to 12 months. The first dose will be a three-in-one combination called Tdap that protects against tetanus, diphtheria (Td) and pertussis (whooping cough). The other two doses are a dual vaccine (Td) to cover tetanus and diphtheria. Vaccination against pertussis is especially important if you're in direct contact with young infants or patients. After the primary series, you'll get a Td booster every 10 years.

SOURCES:

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: "Facts About Tetanus for Adults" and "Tetanus."

Immunization Action Coalition: "Tetanus Vaccine."

CDC: "Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccination Coverage among Adults Aged 18 Years and Older - United States, 1999 and 2008," "Preventing Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Among Adults: Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine," and "Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 9, 2018

SOURCES:

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: "Facts About Tetanus for Adults" and "Tetanus."

Immunization Action Coalition: "Tetanus Vaccine."

CDC: "Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccination Coverage among Adults Aged 18 Years and Older - United States, 1999 and 2008," "Preventing Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Among Adults: Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine," and "Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 9, 2018

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Can everyone get a tetanus shot?

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