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Doctor insights on: Don't Know Date Of Last Tetanus Shot

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
335 Doctors shared insights

Tetanus Shot (Definition)

A tetanus shot is a vaccine that is designed to trigger and "teach" your immune system to attack the tetanus infection preventing it from taking ...Read more


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What to do if I don't recall when I took my last tetanus shot. Should I be concerned?

Yes: Standard risk people should have a tetanus shot every 10 years. High risk people should have a tetanus shot every five years.

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I had last tetanus shot exactly 4 years ago, should I still be covered?

! 0 yr with options: Most are considered covered for 10 years with simple cuts and or clean wounds.If you work around soil/landscape gardening, or have a hard to clean wound, a 5 yr interval would be considered more appropriate for the circumstance.

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I stepped on a sharp metal last night and it's been almost 9 years since my last tetanus shot? Safest to get another shot?

I stepped on a sharp metal last night and it's been almost 9 years since my last tetanus shot? Safest to get another shot?

It's time!: If you have an injury requiring a tetanus shot repeat if it has been over 5 years. Otherwise we repeat every 10 years. Time for a booster!

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I stepped on a sharp piece of metal outside. My last tetanus shot was about 3 years ago. Do I need to go for a tetanus booster shot?

No need for booster: If you got all your tetanus vaccines as a child and a booster 3 years ago then you don't need one now. Tetanus booster shots are good for at least 5 years.

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It's been more than 10 years since my last tetanus shot. Shall I take it as a precaution? Or wait for when I need it (e.G. In case of injury?)

You may not notice: Tetanus spores are everywhere in the environment & need only a break in the skin to set up and begin the low grade infection that creates tetanus toxin. Waiting until you have in injury that you believe may be a problem may be too late. At 38, the best booster for you covers tetanus, diphtheria & pertussis, which helps protect you & prevents you from giving whooping cough to a vulnerable young infant.

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Cut while shaving, razor seems clean, last tetanus shot was 12 years ago. I'm abroad and can only get a shot in 5 weeks. Is it urgent? Will I be ok?

You should be fine: Tetanus immunization doesn't just "end" at 10 years, it is a suggested interval and you have some immunity. This was the definition of a clean injury. Not to worry. You can just get a booster for the NEXT one which might not be so clean.

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Is it too late if I have a tetanus shot 72 hours or + after I got a minor cut from a rusty paperclip in a toilet tank? My last tetanus shot: 5 yrs ago.

Is it too late if I have a tetanus shot 72 hours or + after I got a minor cut from a rusty paperclip in a toilet tank? My last tetanus shot: 5 yrs ago.

May have vaccine: Usually tetanus vaccinations are given every ten years. Since you are dealing with the rusty paperclip, it would be reasonable to update sooner. Make sure the area is clear of any infection and be seen to be placed on antibiotics if any redness or swelling is seen.

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It has been 6.5 years since my last tetanus shot and I just cut myslef with the serrated edge of some cling wrap - it isn't very deep, but it bled. Am I at risk?

It has been 6.5 years since my last tetanus shot and I just cut myslef with the serrated edge of some cling wrap - it isn't very deep, but it bled. Am I at risk?

TdaP: You are okay with a "clean" (non-rusty, indoor cut) on tetanus shot for 10 years, but if you are around any babies you may want to update you tetanus to include pertussis, or whooping cough, with tdap now available for teens and adults so not to catch or transmit whooping cough to others.

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I stepped on a rusty nail last tetanus shot was 3-4 years ago should I worry. Should I be worried?

See below: As far as your tetanus status, you are good. However, watch for signs of a skin infection, redness, swelling, warmth, and mucous discharge.

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I stepped on a nail, and my last tetanus shot was 18 yrs. Ago. Can I wait until tomorrow to go get another?

Yes: Clean out the wound the best you can and watch it well as infection can also be a problem. We like to get the tetanus booster on board soon but under 3 days you should be well covered.

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Am I still able to get tetanus if I got a small cut by a clean looking nail outside and my last tetanus shot was 4-5 years ago?

Am I still able to get tetanus if I got a small cut by a clean looking nail outside and my last tetanus shot was 4-5 years ago?

Highly unlikely: Fortunately tetanus is a very rare disease and esp. Rare in those who have been vaccinated. If you were vaccinated within the past 10 years there is no need to get a booster. I would like to say there is no chance of you getting tetanus but can't- there are very rare cases in those who have been vaccinated, but they tend to be less serious. See http://www. Vaclib. Org/basic/health/boostershots. Htm.