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Doctor insights on: Last Tetanus Shot

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

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. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
340 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. ...Read more

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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! ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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I got a tetanus shot a week after a dog bite. My last tetanus shot was well over ten years ago. Is this tetanus shot too late to take effect?

I got a tetanus shot a week after a dog bite. My last tetanus shot was well over ten years ago. Is this tetanus shot too late to take effect?

No: The Tetanus shot you received wasn't meant to treat the dog bite, rather to catch up on your late immunization schedule. If your doctor was suspicious of tetanus infection, yes s/he would have given you Tetanus immune globulin, which gives best results if given within the first 24 hrs, all the best ...Read more

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Yesterday I got cut on a rusty barbed wire fence. My last tetanus shot was 4 years ago. Do I need a booster? How could the germs live out in the sun?

Yesterday I got cut on a rusty barbed wire fence. My last tetanus shot was 4 years ago. Do I need a booster? How could the germs live out in the sun?

You may not: You get at least 5 years from a booster so you should be ok if you cleaned the wound well. It is not the germs of tetanis but the "eggs" or spores of the germ that can survive for years in the dust & "hatch" when they are in the presence of the serum from tissues in a wound. ...Read more

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Husband cut thumb cooking last night. Knife was clean and last tetanus shot in 2003. Does he need a new shot?

Time for another one: Clean kitchen knife is not likely to cause problem with tetany, but make sure he cleans the wound well with antiseptic such as peroxide/rubbing alcohol quickly, then keep clean/dry. If signs of infection--more redness, swelling, puss formation, consult doc. Anyhow, the end of 2012 is near and so it is time for him to get another shot of tetantus/pertussis booster vaccine. Consult doc. Good luck. ...Read more

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I have a puncture wound from a rusty nail and can't remember when my last tetanus shot was. It has been very well cleaned. Advice?

I have a puncture wound from a rusty nail and can't remember when my last tetanus shot was. It has been very well cleaned. Advice?

Depends: Today it is common for OBGYNs to recommend the TdaP vaccine during pregnancy, but people remember it more for the pertussis part. If you had one with a pregnancy within the past 10 yrs you may be okay, if not the vaccine is a reasonable precaution and would give you protection now & for a while. ...Read more

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Bitten by barn cat on outside of thumb. Pretty sure cat rabis vacc. Not puncture. More sliced. What would recommend? Last tetanus shot was in 2006.

Cat bite: Clean the area thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap and running water. Apply hydrogen peroxide soaked cotton ball. Keep in place for at least 10 minutes. Repeat washing with running water and antibacterial soap Reapply hydrogen peroxide for 20 minutes. Repeat a third time. ...Read more