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A 45-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between a tetanus shot and tetanus immune globulin?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Active vs passive: A tetanus shot is designed to stimulate protective antibodies that take 2-4 weeks to make and will remain active in the patient for a decade. The immune globulin provides pre-made antibodies the help immediately and last for about a month.
Dr. Deborah Ungerleider
Pediatrics 37 years experience
Tetanus immune: globulin is used for treatment of tetanus, whereas a "tetanus shot" generally refers to the vaccine or immunization given preventatively ahead of time to children and adults. The immunoglobulin can also be given to try to prevent tetanus by giving it at the time of a wound with risk for tetanus. The vaccine is also given at that time, if the person does not have an up-to-date vaccine.

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Last updated Apr 4, 2019


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