Tetanus vaccine, also known as tetanus toxoid (TT), is an inactive vaccine used to prevent tetanus. During childhood, five doses are recommended, with a sixth given during adolescence.
After three doses, almost everyone is initially immune, but additional doses every ten years are recommended to maintain immunity. A booster shot should be given within 48 hours of an injury to people whose immunization is out of date. For people with high-risk injuries who are not fully immunized, tetanus antitoxin may also be recommended.
Confirming that pregnant women are up to date on tetanus immunization during each pregnancy can prevent both maternal and neonatal tetanus. The vaccine is very safe, including during pregnancy and in those with HIV/AIDS.
Redness and pain at the site of injection occur in between 25% and 85% of people. Fever, feeling tired, and minor muscle pain occurs in less than 10% of people. Severe allergic reactions occur in less than one in 100,000 people.
A number of vaccine combinations include the tetanus vaccine, such as DTaP and Tdap, which contain diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines, and DT and Td, which contain diphtheria and tetanus vaccines. DTaP and DT are given to children less than seven years old, while Tdap and Td are given to those seven years old and older. The lowercase d and p denote lower strengths of diphtheria and pertussis vaccines.