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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Tetanus Infection?

 fcoronel92 - Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:02 pm

Hello. I stepped on a nail earlier today. The puncture wound wasn't too deep. In fact, It barely punctured my skin and there was very little bleeding. I am 18 years old and I had the tetanus shot in October of 2005. Does the tetanus shot still work.What should I do? Im a bit worried.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:12 am

User avatar Hi,
Almost all reported cases of tetanus occur in persons who either have never received the primary series of tetanus-preventing immunizations, or those who had completed a primary series but have not had a booster vaccination in the 10
years before the diagnosis.
A booster dose is recommended every 10 years.

A new combination vaccine, called Tdap, (protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) has been introduced, and is recommended to be used in persons between 11-64 years of age instead of Td (tetanus-diphtheria vaccine). Td is advised for adults 65 years and older.

Wounds such as ones contaminated with feces, soil, dirt, or saliva, punctured wounds, crush injuries, avulsions and wounds resulting from burns, missiles, or frostbite may be classified as "tetanus-prone" wounds.

One recommended schedule for wounds is as follows..
If a person had received ≥ 3 doses of adsorbed Tetanus Toxoid,
- for all wounds (if < 5 yr since last dose)- no need for Td, Tdap.
- for clean, minor wounds,Td or Tdap should be given (if >10 yr since last dose).
- Tetanus-prone wounds, Td or Tdap should be given (if > 5 yr since last dose).

If the immunization history is unknown or had received < 3 doses of adsorbed Tetanus Toxoid,
- for clean, minor wounds, Td or Tdap should be given.
- for all other wounds,TIG should be given in addition.
- Adolescents and adults who have never received immunization against tetanus (If the immunization history is unknown), should continue the 3-dose primary series.

As you have not mentioned in detail, your past tetanus immunization history, it will not be possible to offer any recommendation.
Best wishes!

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