Tetanus vs TDAP vaccines

Posted on November 9, 2016


The bacteria that causes tetanus can be found just about everywhere in the environment. In the warmer weather when there’s long days playing outside along with family cookouts, bacteria which causes tetanus is often found in the soil and can enter the body through cuts, scrapes and breaks in the skin. Tetanus can cause a serious condition known as “lockjaw.” When the tetanus bacteria enters the body, a toxin is produced, which causes muscles to cramp and tighten. This invading infection often cause the neck and jaw muscles to tighten. It can result in seizures, muscle problems and breathing problems. If left untreated, tetanus can result in death.

Tetanus Vaccine Protection: DTAP, TDAP and TD

There are several vaccines to protect one against tetanus, including DTAP, TDAP and TD. The DTAP vaccine is effective for protection from diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Diphtheria can lead to breathing problems, cardiac arrest, paralysis and death. Pertussis can cause rib fractures, pneumonia or death. The DTAP shot is recommended at ages 2,4 and 6 months and again at 15 through 18 months. However, the protection against tetanus gradually decreases over time, and older children need to get the TDAP booster shot. The TDAP booster is recommended for ages 11 through 18. Pregnant women should get a booster for TDAP during every pregnancy, to protect the infant from pertussis. Newborns are highly at risk for complications due to pertussis. A TDAP shot may also be given after a severe burn or cut to prevent tetanus infection. The TDAP vaccine contains a full dose of tetanus, lower dose of diphtheria and whooping cough vaccine. Adults need to get a TD (tetanus and diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years to maintain immunity against tetanus. Common side effects of DTAP, TDAP and TD vaccines include:

  • Redness or swelling at the shot site
  • Pain where the shot was given
  • Mild fever
  • Headache

Get Yourself and Your Family Vaccine Protection

It’s important for everyone to have tetanus vaccine protection throughout their life. If it’s time for a DTAP, TDAP or TD vaccine, turn to the healthcare experts at Peconic Bay Medical Center. This eastern Long Island hospital offers these vaccines along with physical rehabilitation and orthopedic surgery. Wellness begins at Peconic Bay Medical Center.