Everything You Need to Know About Tetanus Shots

Getting timely vaccines can help prevent disease and preserve health in children and adults. One of the vaccines you need to get is a tetanus shot.

Have you had a tetanus shot? If not, you might be at risk of contracting the infection. When you contract the tetanus bacteria, your nervous system is affected and might be at risk of secondary complications.

Therefore, if you haven’t had one, you can contact an urgent care clinic in Houston and receive it.

What Is Tetanus Infection and Why Is Tetanus an Infectious Disease?

Tetanus is an infectious disease that affects the nervous system and occurs due to toxic bacterium. The disease causes muscle contractions on your neck, jaw, and muscles. If you develop severe tetanus complications, you might be at risk of fatality since it has no cure. 

People who are not up-to-date with the tetanus vaccination are at high risk of infections. The tetanus bacterium is present in the soil, metals, and manure. Therefore, if you have an open wound, you might be at risk of infection. Also, burns, bites, and non-sterile injections can pose a risk of developing the disease. 

Tetanus Symptoms

When you get a tetanus infection, the signs and symptoms might take up to ten days before showing. The signs and symptoms of tetanus begin and worsen within two weeks. Below are some of the signs and symptoms to watch out for:

  • Painful muscle spasms and stiffness on the jaw, hence the name (lockjaw)
  • Muscle tension around your lips, which can lead to a persistent grin
  • Rigidity and muscle spasms around your neck
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Rigidity on your abdominal muscles

If you experience the above symptoms, you should seek urgent care near you. Since tetanus doesn’t have a cure, the doctor will recommend treatments to manage the symptoms. As the disease progresses, you might experience the following symptoms:

  • Hypertension
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Extreme sweating
  • Fever

What Is the Tetanus Vaccine?

The tetanus vaccine is a toxoid injection that helps prevent the disease. Doctors recommend five shots during childhood. Then, during adolescence, your child can get another tetanus shot and more vaccines every ten years. After the first three shots, the body gains immunity. However, tetanus booster shots are still necessary.

Tetanus Vaccine Types

There are two types of vaccines that help in protecting against tetanus: the DtaP and Tdap shots. Adults get the vaccine on the shoulder while children get it on the thigh and arm.


The Dtap shot is for babies and children and protects against tetanus, Diphtheria, and pertussis. If the child has had a bad reaction towards the whooping cough vaccine, the doctor will recommend a DT shot. The DT shot protects against Diphtheria and Tetanus.


The Tdap vaccine is for adults and older children. Just like Dtap, the Tdap shot protects against tetanus, Diphtheria, and whooping cough. On the other hand, Td is the booster vaccine for children and adults. 

How Often Do You Need a Tetanus Shot?

Children under five years need the tetanus vaccine five times. The vaccine timelines for children are two, four, six, fifteen to eighteen months, and between five and six years. After getting the kids’ five shots, the child will need another shot during adolescence. For adults, you can get tetanus shots near you every ten years. 

What Does a Tetanus Shot Prevent?

A tetanus shot is designed to prevent several diseases. Therefore, apart from tetanus, the shot can prevent against:

  • Diphtheria
  • Whooping cough

All the above diseases are infectious and can increase the risk of developing secondary complications. Therefore, you should get timely vaccination.

Other reasons you might need to get a tetanus shot include:

  • You did not get a series of tetanus vaccines during childhood
  • You haven’t had a booster shot for the last ten years

However, some people might not be eligible to get tetanus shots. Some of the factors that disqualify you from getting a tetanus shot include: 

  • Had severe allergic reaction after a previous shot
  • Have a history of seizures or comma

Also, if you have a history of epilepsy, severe pain, and other nervous system disorders, you can notify your doctor before getting the shot.  

Where to Get a Tetanus Shot?

Do you live in Houston and need a tetanus shot? If so, you can visit us at Neumed Modern Urgent Care for the vaccine. 


The NeuMed blog is published by NeuMed Modern Urgent Care + IV Therapy, an innovative urgent care and IV infusion therapy clinic with locations in Houston, Texas.

Any general advice posted on our blog, or website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.