Tetanus , also known as lockjaw , is a bacterial infection characterized by muscle spasms. Tetanus is caused by an infection with the bacterium Clostridium tetani ,  which is commonly found in soil, saliva, dust, and manure. Tetanus can be prevented by immunization with the tetanus vaccine. Tetanus occurs in all parts of the world but is most frequent in hot and wet climates where the soil has a high organic content. Tetanus often begins with mild spasms in the jaw muscles —also known as lockjaw or trismus.
Recommended Immunization Schedule for Teens
History of Vaccinations and Vaccines
Tetanus vaccine , also known as tetanus toxoid TT , is a toxoid vaccine used to prevent tetanus. After three doses, almost everyone is initially immune,  but additional doses every ten years are recommended to maintain immunity. Confirming that pregnant women are up to date on tetanus immunization during each pregnancy can prevent both maternal and neonatal tetanus. A number of vaccine combinations include the tetanus vaccine, such as DTaP and Tdap , which contain diphtheria , tetanus, and pertussis vaccines , and DT and Td, which contain diphtheria and tetanus vaccines.
Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know
Although there have always been some people who have been against vaccines, most people have thought of vaccines as one of the greatest health achievements of the 20th century. In addition to these new vaccines, several new combination vaccines have been introduced over the years too, including:. Although they don't change the number of vaccines your kids get, combination vaccines can reduce the number of shots they get at each visit. For example, instead of three separate DTaP, IPV, and Hib shots at their two, four, and six month well child visits, your child could get single Pentacel shot each time.
Full Vaccine Schedule. After your child gets a vaccination, some people, including preteens, might experience the following:. Serious side effects are rare.