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Five Things You Should Know Before Getting a Tetanus Shot

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A tetanus and diphtheria (Td) booster shot is recommended every 10 years.

A tetanus and diphtheria (Td) booster shot is recommended every 10 years.

Do you remember the last time you had a tetanus shot? I didn't either. When the doctor asked me when I had my last one, I told her that I was sure it was before I went off to college—nearly 20 years before. She told me the clinic was trying to get all of their patients' tetanus shots updated.

Without really thinking about it, I told her to go ahead. The nurse came in and explained that my arm would probably be really sore for a couple of days. "No big deal," I thought. Looking back, I really wish I had known more before getting my tetanus shot. (You can read about my tetanus shot experience on my blog post, "A Real Pain in the Arm."

What You'll Learn By the End of This Article

Here are five things you should know before getting your tetanus shot:

  1. What Is Tetanus?
  2. Who Should Get a Tetanus Shot?
  3. What Am I Getting Injected With?
  4. What Are the Side Effects of Tetanus Shots?
  5. Can I Prevent Tetanus Without Getting Vaccinated?
Clostridium tetani are rod-shaped, spore-forming bacteria that release a toxin responsible for tetanus, or lockjaw.

Clostridium tetani are rod-shaped, spore-forming bacteria that release a toxin responsible for tetanus, or lockjaw.

1. What Is Tetanus?

Tetanus is a bacterial infection (via Clostridium tetani) that affects the central nervous system. It is also known as lockjaw because one of the characteristic symptoms is the inability to open the mouth or swallow. Tetanus can also cause seizures, uncontrollable muscle contractions, muscle spasms, and even death.

You may have heard that you can get tetanus from a cut by a rusty nail. However, it isn't the rust or the nail but the bacteria on it that causes the infection. C. tetani commonly exist in soil, dust, and animal feces—most notably, horse feces—and spreads through direct contact with broken skin, open wounds, and even burns.

Babies should be vaccinated for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

Babies should be vaccinated for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

2. Who Should Get a Tetanus Shot?

There are recommendations made by the following organizations:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
  • The American College of Physicians (ACP)

Babies

It is recommended that babies get the DTaP vaccine which protects them against diphtheria (upper respiratory illness), tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). This immunization is given to a child five times between the ages of 2 months and 4-6 years.

Children

Around age 11 or 12, a child should get a booster shot—the TDap vaccine—for protection against the same diseases. After this, a Td booster is recommended every ten years. The Td vaccination is only for tetanus and diphtheria, not whooping cough.

Adults

If you are an adult and have never been vaccinated against tetanus, you can get vaccinated in a three-shot Td series. If you also want to be immunized for pertussis, you can have the TDaP shot for one of those three doses.

After you have had the initial three doses, you should get a Td booster shot every 10 years.

If you have never been vaccinated against tetanus and end up getting a wound that could possibly get infected, you can still get vaccinated, but it should be within 48 hours of getting the wound. The longer you wait, the more the bacteria can grow.

According to the CDC, you should NOT get a tetanus shot if you:

  • Have had a life-threatening reaction to the vaccine
  • Have had had an allergic reaction to the vaccine
  • Are moderately or severely ill

Ask your doctor if you:

  • Have a neurological disease (like epilepsy)
  • Have Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Had severe swelling and pain from a previous tetanus shot
  • Are pregnant
Adults should get a tetanus booster shot (Td booster) every 10 years.

Adults should get a tetanus booster shot (Td booster) every 10 years.

3. What Exactly Am I Getting Injected With?

According to Mosby's Drug Consult, the tetanus vaccine contains toxoids (inactivated toxins) from C. tetani. Exposure to the toxoid causes the immune system to produce antibodies against it. This essentially prepares the immune system to fight against the live toxin if you become infected in the future.

There are also other ingredients included in the tetanus shot:

  • Formaldehyde: It is used as a liquid preservative to store the vaccines. Because it is used in very small amounts, it isn't considered toxic.
  • Thimerosal: This is controversial because it contains mercury. This ingredient is no longer used in the children's vaccines for tetanus but is still used in tetanus vaccines for adults.
  • Aluminum phosphate: The Environmental Defense Fund suspects this ingredient is harmful to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. However, in this case, it is used in safe amounts.
  • Sodium phosphate dibasic: Used to keep a proper pH balance. This helps the vaccine work more effectively and keeps the other ingredients dissolved in solution.
  • Sodium phosphate monobasic: Also used to keep a proper pH balance.
  • Sodium Chloride: Table salt.
  • Distilled Water: What the ingredients are dissolved in.
Fatigue and other flu-like symptoms are common side effects of a tetanus shot.

Fatigue and other flu-like symptoms are common side effects of a tetanus shot.

4. What Are the Side Effects of a Tetanus Shot?

As with most vaccines, there can be some side effects of the tetanus shot. Most doctors will say that even with the most adverse side effects, it is better than getting the disease itself.

Common side effects include:

  • Painful swelling at the injection site
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Low-grade fevers

There are other reactions that may be more serious. You should contact your doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the arm
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble breathing
Proper wound care is critical in the prevention of tetanus.

Proper wound care is critical in the prevention of tetanus.

5. Can I Prevent Tetanus Without Getting the Shot?

Tetanus is rare in the United States—only about 100 cases occur each year. The most common cases are older adults who have never been vaccinated. Of those who get tetanus, 3 out of 10 die from it. For others, there can be a one- to two-month recovery process that usually involves being in the Intensive Care Unit and large doses of antibiotics.

If you have never been vaccinated or your shot has not been updated, it is critical that any open wound you have is properly treated. Keep the wound clean, apply antibacterial ointment, and wrap it with a bandage, changing the dressing at least once a day. Since deep wounds to the foot are more at risk for tetanus, it is a good idea to always wear shoes while outside.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

Deborah Muniz on July 26, 2019:

Why do Docters & nurses get to have a choice not to be vacinated and everybody else does not unless your religion forbids it.?

biomechanics2018 on December 28, 2017:

This is an interesting article that I believe: https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/six-reason...

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on September 17, 2017:

I work a lot with my hands, fixing things that break, doing repairs to the house, gardening, and so on. For this reason I have always faithfully gotten Tetanus Shots every ten years.

I didn't know about all those ingredients in it though, that you had mentioned. That makes me a little concerned about continuing with the shots when the next one is due. What a dilemma!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on December 03, 2016:

Diego - You are welcome. In your case, it probably was a good idea to get a tetanus shot! Hopefully you didn't have any severe side effects.

Diego on November 21, 2016:

Thank you for the information! I just got a tetanus shot after wounding my leg with my rusty bike. That thing is going to the trash now.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on December 09, 2015:

Erorantes - Thank you for your comment and yes, I agree it is certainly important for us to look after our own health and to not so readily trust those in the medical field! We need to do our own research as there is so much misinformation out there!

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on October 08, 2015:

I like your hub.. It is impotant to look after our individual health. It is good to know what to look when someone has created their own tetanus. I know the most important. A dog bite can give you tetanus if we are ready to get it. A cut with metal or nails. Two person told me; they created their tetanus. They got treated; they are fine. Your topic is important to society. Thank you for your excellent hub miss cari.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 21, 2015:

Elda - I am not a health care professional so I am not able to answer your question. I would call your doctor's office and ask them.

Elda Oliveira on July 20, 2015:

2 years ago I got a tetanus shot, today I went to the doctor and I forgot I got the shot 2 years ago. So the doctor gave me the shot and when I went home I remembered I got the shot 2 years ago. Will the shot I took today affect me in any way????

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 07, 2015:

Gani - I'm not a medical professional but I can say that the tetanus shot you received 6 weeks ago before the kitten bit you should have protected you. You should have told the doctor you had a shot 6 weeks ago then they wouldn't have done another one. I am surprised they gave you a tetanus shot for being bit by a kitten. I'm not sure of the harmful effects of getting two tetanus shots so close together - just watch for any unusual symptoms and if you have to go back to the doctor make a point to let them know about both shots. I hope this helps.

Gani on July 03, 2015:

I had tet shot twice in 6 weeks span is that going to get me trouble?

I had a tetanus shot 6 week ago for an injury but now when I grab my kitten by her back neck someone drop the kitchen ware near me so it raise a sudden loud noise that scare the hell out of my kitten then my poor little scared kitten byte my wrist and hide under the couch .

I'm afraid because the byte is pretty hard her four tooth make four punctures and a tiny drop of blood drew from those punctures it scare the crap out of me I suddenly clean it with hydrogen peroxide then applied neosporin ointment and rushed to the hospital and doctor gave me antibotics for five days and gave me a tet shot I don't let them know which I had tet shot 6 weeks ago

Is that going to get me trouble?

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on June 27, 2015:

Myles, I'm so sorry you suffered the horrible side effects of getting the Tetanus shot. I know how you feel! It's not fun. My question is will you ever have one again, 10 years later as doctors suggest? I don't think I ever will!

Myles on June 26, 2015:

Thank you so much for this information, everyone needs to see this. I recently got my tetanus shot and it made me very ill, all of the side affects you listed, i gained!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on June 19, 2015:

Kris, thank you so much for your comment and for adding your insight to the discussion. I'm glad you have never experienced a negative reaction from the tetanus shot, because it's not fun at all!

I didn't realize horses are vaccinated for it as well. I'm glad you are choosing the better to be safe than sorry route - I guess each person has to make the decision for themselves.

Kris on June 17, 2015:

I work with and train horses and I get vaccinated every 5-7 years, just because of the higher risk. Our horses get vaccinated against tetanus yearly as part of their yearly vaccines, along with rabies, west nile, etc. The tetanus virus can be passed from their manure through a cut or puncture if they're infected.

I have never had a bad reaction except for soreness at the injection site for part of the day. I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on April 27, 2015:

RTalloni - I totally agree! Sometimes they are necessary but sometimes they may do more harm than good. It's wise to be educated about all vaccines.

RTalloni on April 25, 2015:

It is important to take a close look at the vaccines we are offered. Thanks for a look at both sides of the tetanus shot.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on April 25, 2015:

Hi Anna, I would think it would be okay since it's a superficial cut and you cleaned it with antiseptic solution. I would be on alert for any sign of infection, including a fever. Please know that I am not a medical professional and if you are concerned, I would recommend seeing a someone who is.

anna on April 25, 2015:

Hi Cari. Thank you so much for your informative article! I do however still have a question to ask.... I had my last vaccine about 11 years ago, and I recently scratched myself on a rusted wire. I am unable to get to a medical centre at the moment and am seriously concerned that my vaccination is already expired. The scratch is superficial and minor, and I have cleaned the wound with antiseptic solution. Will this suffice do you think? I will do my best to get a vaccination within the next couple of weeks, but I cannot do it at present. Should I be concerned?

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 29, 2014:

Nigel - I do apologize that I am not qualified to give you medical advice. I would keep my eye on the scrape and have it checked out if you see any major changes or notice any odd symptoms. Again, I am not a health care practitioner that is just my common sense advice.

Nigel on October 27, 2014:

Hi Cari .. I have had a tetanus shot last December 2013. I peeled myself today in the foot, epidermis, no blood nothing, just normal scrape, no minute trace of blood, underlying skin intact, while fidgeting with my sofa. do i need to take a tetanus shot ??

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on September 20, 2014:

nova - I would count it a blessing your arm didn't hurt the next day! I would just pay attention to any odd symptoms or if there is redness. If not, then you should be good!

nova on September 20, 2014:

Is it OK that my arm didn't hurt the day after

JPSO138 from Cebu, Philippines, International on October 27, 2013:

Very informative hub. I am sure that many people out there are still not familiar about tetanus.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on April 14, 2013:

@ quicksand - The only time I've heard taking a dose of aspirin being able to save you is if you are having a heart attack. So I'm not sure taking aspirin would have saved your friend.

@everyday miracles - Yes, it would be nice if they could separate the vaccines so you could pick and choose which ones to take and which ones not to.

@ anna - I'm not sure if there is a connection between animals and tetanus - you may need to ask your doctor.

Anna on April 14, 2013:

If you have never had the tetanes shot and have animals, should I probably get one?

Becki Rizzuti from Indiana, USA on January 31, 2013:

I'm not comfortable with the DTaP vaccine. I've seen a severe adverse reaction to the vaccine and therefore it makes me incredibly nervous. But tetanus is frightening and too easy to contract.

My family doesn't vaccinate, in large part because of these combo vaccines. I really wish that we had an option to separate them.

quicksand on January 28, 2013:

Years ago, a friend of mine died of tetanus. He had previously refused to take any medication for an injury caused by falling into a ditch. They say he would have been saved if he had taken even a dose of aspirin. Could this be true?

:)

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on January 11, 2013:

Owen, you should be ok as the tetanus vaccine lasts for about 10 years from the time you get it.

Owen on January 11, 2013:

I had a tetanus shot in 6th grade and am now in 9th, I stepped on the Blunt end of a nail and got a pretty good cut on my foot, am I ok? Can I get tetanus

Rex Blackwell on December 31, 2012:

My uncle died from Tetanus, the infection from a rusty bolt in the garden which gouged his arm as he had a fall. He was 93. I was working in the same garden yesterday, and trod on a nail (galvanised) which bled quite well. I got the horrors when I realised that I was only 3 metres away from the actual site from his fatal infection occurred. That was 5 years ago now, and I had a tetanus booster while caring for him at the hospital. Nevertheless, I hurried to get a booster, despite having been told that I was "right for life" at the time. I was seriously scared, as it is a very bad death, and despite low infection rates in Australia, he was just as dead as anywhere else in the world. My leg is a bit sore today, and I am feeling a bit "off" as well, but intensely glad that I got another booster, "right for life", yesterday, being well within the 24 hrs.

sanga on October 20, 2012:

After studying carefully about vaccinations, I came to the conclusion that the risk of any kind of vaccine is greater than getting the disease unvaccinated. Type in Google, 'Horrors of vaccination exposed'. It is a must read book. Besides, 'The Poisoned Needle', 'Murder by injection', 'Evidence of Harm', 'Hidden dangers in polio vaccine', 'Saying no to vaccines', 'Blood Poisoners', 'A shot in the dark', 'What the pharmaceutical industries don't want you to know about vaccines', 'Against compulsory vaccination', 'Vaccine nation', 'Raising a vaccine

free child'. --- If youread these books, you can see there is a big deception in the vaccine industry. Also, search in Google:

vaccination books (english), vactruth, Dr. Rebecca Carley, Dr. Nancy Turner Banks, Dr. Rima Laibow etc.

Krystal on August 29, 2012:

When i was a baby and i got my shot, the nurse that did this was very very bad at giving shots. I am a cryer but only if I have two or three in the same arm. Now when I was crying my parents thought I was just bein a regular kid. But I turns out my body can't handle the murcury and I had some parts of my neves system got destroyed. My parents dicided to sew the docters office for the bill and 100,000 $ for putting a baby threw the surgerys I had gotten. Now my school recremending this and now saying I need to get this shot again. It soooo stupid because of what happens to me when I have mucury inside of me. Plus when my friend got the shot for the second time, 4 weeks later she ended up getting lockjaw!!!! It also to top it all of felt worse than a bee sting! U've got to be kidding me!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on August 27, 2012:

Glenn Stok - thank you so much for your comment. Chances are when you bring up the ingredients of mercury and aluminum to your doctor he or she will tell you it is in such small amounts that it can't harm you. But like you, I am still leery of those ingredients being injected into my body. I'm glad this Hub was informative and thanks for voting it up!

moonlake from America on August 26, 2012:

I had an allergic reaction to the vaccine. It's marked in my recorded that I'm allergic to it. My arm swelled and I couldn't left it and I ran a fever. It looked awful and hurt so bad. Voted Up good hub lots of information.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on August 26, 2012:

I get my tetanus booster every 10 years but I never thought twice about what was in the vaccine.  Now that I know that Thimerosal and Aluminum Phosphate are in it, I plan to ask my doctor about this next time I see him. Because mercury is a toxin and aluminum may cause Alzheimer's.  

I work with my hands a lot doing crafts and carpentry. Every once in a while I do get a cut in the process, which is why I keep up with the booster shots every 10 years. But now I know, according to your hub, that tetanus can be avoided by properly treating the wounds in time. So based on everything I just read in your hub I may decide not to get any further boosters in the future. Your hub was very helpful and I voted it up.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on June 03, 2012:

mistyhorizon2003 - thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your experiences. I think if someone is at higher risk for getting tetanus, then getting vaccinated would be a good idea.

Cindy Lawson from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on May 30, 2012:

I am up to date on mine as it was compulsory when I worked in a Vets surgery. I renewed it some years back to be on the safe side. All I ever experienced was an 'achy arm' for a day or so, and then all was normal. I prefer that to the idea of lockjaw and potentially the problem of being unable to work for however long it took to be cured. I also do loads of gardening, and only last week I managed to jab a wound into my hand on an old piece of barbed wire fencing. I additionally have two cats and do occasionally get scratched when worming them. Seems I am probably at a higher risk than most of getting this, so very very happy to know I am still protected via my vaccine (well for at least another couple of years or so). I believe there is a point where they say you probably no longer even need boosters, but need to double check when this point is reached.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on May 22, 2012:

Michael Hoover - thanks for your comment! Hope your booster shot is a good experience!

Michele Hoover on May 21, 2012:

I need to have a tetanus booster. I like this website.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on March 26, 2012:

KimmiS - thanks so much for your comment. I bet you are right!!

KimmiS from Vancouver, Canada on March 21, 2012:

I wonder how many of the 100 cases of tetanus have been vaccinated, I bet some of them have!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on February 20, 2012:

jsang - thank you so much for your comment. My heart goes out to this family for what they have gone through. There are pros and cons to any vaccination that's why it is important to do your homework before getting one - even when it is recommended by the medical community. It will be interesting to see what the Supreme Court's decision will be regarding this DPT vaccination.

Abba Elijah from Nigeria on February 19, 2012:

Thanks for the info!

jsang on February 05, 2012:

Tetanus vaccine court case: It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court handles a case currently before it involving a young lady whose parents say she became permanently injured by a diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) vaccine called Tri-Immunol that she received when she was a child. The Bruesewitz's say that Wyeth, the manufacturer of the DTP vaccine, knew about a safer version of the vaccine, but continued to sell the dangerous one anyway. Now their daughter Hannah requires costly, specialized care for the rest of her life.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on November 26, 2011:

Dawn - I am terrible sorry to hear about your ordeal. I really hope you get to the bottom of it and will find healing. It is a tough spot to be in because I don't think the medical community is so ready to blame vaccines for such severe reactions and illness. My prayers truly go out to you.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on November 26, 2011:

Brian - Thanks so much for your comment. I hope you are okay since your incident and have not had any negative side effects from it. Your comment is a good reminder that we need to be informed before having any kind of vaccine injected into our bodies.

Dawn Jarman on November 25, 2011:

I have been quit sick for almost 9 months now, since I got the tetanus shot, body aches, stabbing, gelada he's, numbness and tingling, low igg level, chest pains, very stiff muscles and bones, arthritis like, the are treating me for chronic lymes disease, said they thought I had, Lupus, ms, and several other sicknesses, brain scans, 20 days in hospital, X-rays, lab work. All over $100,000.00,,, I'm still I'll, I just figured out that I truly believe the vaccine has made me soooo sick!

Brian on November 21, 2011:

I stepped on a nail or sewing needle on a carpet yesterday and it wasn't rusty. I don't recall the depth of the wound and there was slight and short lived bleeding.

I immediately dabbed some H2O2 but it may not be sufficient because I was in a rush. Few hours later, I scratched off some of the scab and poured H2O2. Now I'm so scared.

My last tetanus booster was 6 years ago. I will have to ask my doctor if I need another booster tomorrow. Besides being autistic and having tics at a young age and having gluten intolerance, both may or may not be linked to vaccinations, I've never had any other complications from vaccines. Apparently, some people get crippled from gardasil and flu shots. What is the likeliness from getting crippled from the tetanus booster if you take it every 5 to 10 years?

The only vaccines I believe that we may need are the tetanus booster and rabies vaccine. I believe that most of the time, we can prevent lasting damage or infections from the other infections commonly vaccinated against. For example, a healthy diet can boost the immune system and abstinence prevents STI's. In addition, the HPV vaccine can give the patient a false sense of security as they are not protected against other STI's. Having a STI also increases the risk of other STI's.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on November 19, 2011:

paula b. - thanks so much for your comment. I am so sorry to hear about what you went through. My bad experience with getting the shot is no where near the horrible experience you went through. I mainly wrote the article so that people could be more informed because the medical community really doesn't give you any info they just say you should get the booster every ten years and tell you you might be sore for a couple of days. Again, I am sorry to hear what you went through and I pray you will have complete healing.

paula b. on November 14, 2011:

I had tetanus when I was 30 years old.I got a little sliver in my toe. That is when my world changed. I spent 10 days in ICU. A month in the hospital & months of rehab. I suffered pain & coordination problems for years after and although it's been almost 20 years I still have deficits because of it.They didn't expect me to live & I didn't want to. I was in the most unimaginable agonizing pain ( it was out of a horror film) and I just wanted to be put out of my misery. So I am sorry for your bad reactions,the ingredients in the shot ect. ,but having Tetanus still gives me nightmares And I wouldn't wish it on the Devil himself.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 31, 2011:

festersporling1 - thanks so much for your comment. If you do ever get one, I'd like to know what your experience is like.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 31, 2011:

Labtech - thanks so much for sharing your expertise! I think some people get a little freaked out about the ingredients because most have little experience when it comes to the science that goes into making a vaccine.

Daniel Christian from Los Angeles, CA on October 31, 2011:

Good things to know about the tetanus shot. I myself have never got one.

Labtech on October 30, 2011:

Sodium phosphate mono and di-basic are used to create a pH specific phosphate buffer for the solution. Almost anything that is injectable is close to serum pH level.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 30, 2011:

fucsia - thanks so much for your comment. I wish I would have been more informed before I had my tetanus shot, which is one reason I wrote this article!

fucsia on October 30, 2011:

This is a very interesting article about tetanus. Now I know something new on the tetanus shot. I am always glad to read article like this because I think that is better to be informed on what we take and why. Thank you.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 27, 2011:

symon - thanks so much for your comment. Glad you found this information helpful and important.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 27, 2011:

Cristina - I really cannot be certain of the answer to your question. I would advise you to ask your doctor or someone in the medical field. I really hope hat your baby has not been affected.

symon reza from jamshedpur,india on October 27, 2011:

thanks for your important hub

Cristina Maries Rejesus on October 25, 2011:

i didn't know i was pregnant that time when i got a tetanus vaccine for my wound is it going to hurt my baby?

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 24, 2011:

brimarie - I'm so sorry for your horrible experience. For whatever reason, some people have bad reactions to the tetanus booster shot. I think these people are safer taking their chances with scrapes and cuts because lockjaw is extremely rare. Thanks so much for your comment.

brimarie on October 21, 2011:

Thanks for posting the CDC recommendations for who should NOT get one. I stumbled upon this while trying to make a decision about getting my booster updated. The last time I had a tetanus booster I literally almost died. (I went into full blown anaphylactic shock.) Because I was given a tetanus booster and a Vicadin in rapid succession after a VERY deep cut in my hand, the doctors never figured out which one did it. However, the more I read, the more I realize it was probably the tetanus booster. I was told at the time that I will actually need to be admitted to the hospital if I ever need to have one again. I was not (and have not since been) told that I shouldn't get one at all. . . .I get nervous with every little cut or scrape since it has been about 10 1/2 years but at this point I think I'm safer taking my chances. Thanks again for the information.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on September 15, 2011:

Laura - thanks so much for your comment. I do not know of anyone who has died from lockjaw since it is not that common. It is good to know there are ways to prevent it though.

Laura on September 12, 2011:

My grandpa's mother died from lockjaw when he was quite young. Thank you for the detailed information. I had thought that tetanus was always fatal.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on August 28, 2011:

Tracey - I know! I couldn't believe some of the ingredients either. For me, I doubt I will ever get my tetanus shot again - not only because of the ingredients but because of the bad reaction I had. Thanks for your comment.

Tracey on August 28, 2011:

Am I the only one who read the ingredients they inject into us and our children. Read the dangers on Vaccinations. There are less risks involved with not being vaccinated. The greatest risk to a non vaccinated person is a vaccinated person caring the disease around.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on June 15, 2011:

jasper420 - thanks so much for your comment.

jasper420 on June 14, 2011:

great info very nicley put togeather great hub thanks

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on June 09, 2011:

HealthyHanna - I know, it is a never-ending debate. I questions vaccinations sometimes but usually end up getting them for me and my daughter.

HealthyHanna from Utah on June 08, 2011:

To vacinate or not to vacinate... that is a big question. I have had the vacination a couple of times and have not gotten sick. I probably would do it again.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on June 08, 2011:

RTalloni - thanks so much for your comment. I agree that people should know more about it before they get it.

RTalloni on June 06, 2011:

Thanks so much for this info. Clearly, this commonly given vaccine needs more thought before being taken. Voted up.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on May 26, 2011:

Jo_Goldsmith11 - Thanks so much for your comment. I had a bad experience this last time around w/ my tetanus shot and I'm not sure if I'll ever go through that again. I know having tetanus could be way worse but I think it is a rarity.

Jo_Goldsmith11 on May 25, 2011:

I can't remember when I had a tetanus shot!. My brain hurts just thinking about it. I remember when I was a little girl. (many years ago) I had stepped on a rusty nail and had to go to the hospital and have it removed. They gave me a shot then. I know I have needed one or two since then. But I would rather suffer what ever consequences that come from not doing it verses the pain of getting one! voted up! way to go..excellent information

Aficionada from Indiana, USA on May 20, 2011:

Very interesting information. I was particularly fascinated to know there are so few cases of tetanus in the US each year - probably partly due to the fact that we are immunized so much when we are younger and more prone to running around barefoot and engaging in careless activities. But even so, it is a good piece of data to keep in mind. Thanks for this!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on May 20, 2011:

DeBorrah - thanks so much for your comment - I always appreciate hearing from you!

DeBorrah K Ogans on May 19, 2011:

Cari Jean, Great informative article in regards to getting a Tetanus Shots! Hmmm... I am overedue for one for sure! Thanks for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Peace & Blessings!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on May 19, 2011:

Pamela99 - you are also a very loyal commenter - thank you so much.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on May 19, 2011:

Hello, hello, thank you so much - you are always so loyal to comment on my hubs and I really appreciate that!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 19, 2011:

Cari, This is a very thorough article about Tetanus. I remember how sore my are was, but I can't remember when I had my last injection. Thanks for the information.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on May 19, 2011:

Very informative. Thank you.