Did you know?
Up to 1 in 5 people who get tetanus may die.
What is a booster dose?
Immunity (protection) from some vaccines declines with time. A "booster" dose is an additional dose of vaccine given to strengthen or "boost" the immune system to provide better protection against disease.
What is the tetanus vaccine?
The tetanus vaccine protects against tetanus, a serious disease caused by a bacteria.
The tetanus vaccine is combined with other vaccines so that you or your child can get protection against several diseases with fewer shots.
Who should get the tetanus vaccine?
Tetanus vaccination is recommended for people of all ages. There are many different combination vaccines used to prevent tetanus in infants, young children, school-age children, and adults.
- The Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, Polio, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib) Vaccine is given as a series of 3 doses to infants at 2, 4, and 6 months of age.
- The Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) Vaccine is given to infants as a booster dose at 18 months of age after completing a three-dose primary series of DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib.
- The Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio (Tdap-IPV) Vaccine is given as one dose to children 4-6 years of age. This is a booster dose for children who were immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and polio at a younger age.
The Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine is offered to all students in Grade 9. This is a booster dose for children immunized against these diseases at a younger age.
- The Tdap vaccine can also be given to children 7 years of age and older who have not been fully immunized, and to adults or immigrants who have not been immunized or whose immunization history is unknown.
- People born in 1989 or later who missed their adolescent dose of Tdap are eligible to get one dose of this vaccine for free.
- A booster dose of the Tdap vaccine is recommended for adults who were immunized in childhood but is not provided for free in B.C.
The Tetanus and Diphtheria (Td) Vaccine is given as a booster dose to adults who were immunized against tetanus and diphtheria when they were younger. A booster dose of this vaccine is recommended every 10 years.
- Adults who have not been immunized or do not have a record of prior immunization should also get the vaccine.
- This vaccine may also be given to people with serious cuts or deep wounds if their last tetanus vaccine was given more than 5 years ago.
If you have a serious cut or wound, including punctures, bites, burns, or scrapes, it is recommended that you see your health care provider immediately for treatment. This is especially important if the wound is dirty.
What are the benefits of the tetanus vaccine?
Vaccination is the best way to protect against tetanus, a serious and sometimes fatal disease. Tetanus is different from other vaccine-preventable diseases because it does not spread from person to person. Any person not vaccinated against tetanus is at risk.
Where can I learn more?
Click on the vaccine name above to access the HealthLink BC file for more information about the vaccine, including possible reactions and who should not get the vaccine.
- Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is caused by bacteria usually found in dirt, soil, and dust.
- When the bacteria enter the skin through a cut or scrape, they produce a poison that can cause painful tightening of muscles all over the body.
- It is very serious if the breathing muscles are affected.
- Up to 1 in 5 people who get tetanus may die.