Immunization Information: Tetanus

You received a tetanus shot today. This shot was given to protect you from an infection with the tetanus bacteria. These bacteria are found in the soil. You can get a tetanus infection (also called "lockjaw") from a dirty wound, cut, puncture, abrasion, or other break in the skin. Tetanus can be deadly. For this reason, it is vital to be vaccinated against it. If you have never had a tetanus vaccination, 3 shots are needed to fully protect you. You received the first shot today. You can get your next 2 shots:

  • From your usual healthcare provider

  • From the local public health department

  • From our facility

When to have your next 2 shots

  • Return for your next shot in 4 weeks: _________________________________________________

  • Return for your last shot in 6 to 12 months:  ___________________________________________________

Once you are finished with the 3 shots, you will be fully immunized. This means you will be protected against getting tetanus for up to 10 years.

If you have an injury that is very risky before this time, you may receive a "booster" shot.

To help you remember the date of your last tetanus shot, write it on the back of your driver's license or other ID.

When to seek medical advice

After a tetanus shot, most people have only mild soreness in the arm for a day or so. Contact your healthcare provider or this facility if you develop symptoms of allergic reaction, which include:

  • Pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site

  • Trouble breathing

  • Rash

© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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