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Tetanus vaccination
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Tetanus is a bacterial infection that produces a toxin which interferes with the electrical signals from nerves to muscles in humans. It’s infamously known for causing ‘lockjaw’ where the muscles of your jaw go into spasm. This muscle spasm then spreads to the rest of the body. It’s easily preventable by tetanus vaccination.

Tetanus, what is it?

Tetanus vaccination

There are several very effective tetanus vaccines available and these are usually combined with the diphtheria, polio and/or whooping cough vaccines. These vaccines are routinely offered as part of the UK NHS childhood vaccination schedule.

A Tetanus Vaccination is £39 per dose. If you’re travelling then there’ll be a Travel Consultation cost of £30 per person and the vaccine cost, however, if you’re not travelling then it’s only the vaccination cost you pay.

Tetanus vaccine price

Dr Ravi Gowda

Dr Ravi Gowda, Consultant in Infectious Diseases or one of his highly trained clinical colleagues will be looking after your  vaccine requirements. 

Who will be providing your Tetanus vaccination?
We're a team of trained experts

Experts in Infectious Diseases

and Travel Medicine

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Over 21 years of experience in Travel Health

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Cared for more than

10,000  patients

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Over 150 5 star reviews on Google Reviews

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1. Book an appointment online

Book and pay for your vaccination consultation online.

2. Attend your consultation

Complete an online health assessment and attend your consultation.

3. Get your Tetanus vaccination

Get the vaccination you need and you're ready to go.

How it works
Prevention icon

Travellers should be careful to avoid injuring themselves. If injuries do occur, any wounds should be thoroughly cleaned, and you should seek appropriate medical attention for a tetanus vaccine and possible tetanus immunoglobulin. Dr Gowda has seen patients with tetanus and the main principles of treatment are: - Cleaning the wound thoroughly to remove as much toxin as possible - Give tetanus immunoglobulin - Antibiotics - Give drugs to reduce muscle spasm - Tetanus immunisation - The patient may need ventilation using a machine if they have difficulty breathing.

Prevention
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Tetanus can be serious and life threatening even with treatment, so the tetanus vaccination is the most important treatment.

Tetanus treatment
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The tetanus bacteria releases a powerful neurotoxin that can affect the transmission of nerve signals through your nerves and muscles. So your muscles around your jaw, face and mouth can go into spasm, making it difficult for you to open your jaw, chew or even swallow. For this reason, it’s commonly referred to as ’lockjaw.’ Other symptoms you may have include a stiff neck, seizures, uncontrollable muscle spasms, forceful arching of the back, and abnormal breathing and heart rate.

Tetanus symptoms
Causes icon

Tetanus is a bacterial infection caused by Clostridium tetani. This bacteria is what we call a soil saprophyte, which means it lives on dead or decaying matter. So you’re most likely to be infected if you have an open wound that becomes contaminated with soil or manure. So what would we consider as tetanus prone wounds? Here are common scenarios that might put you at risk: - Certain animal bites and scratches - Burns - Puncture type wounds in an contaminated environment e.g. gardening injuries - Eye injuries - Wounds containing foreign bodies - Bone fractures with broken skin - Wounds in people with bloodstream infections.

Tetanus causes
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The most common reported side effects you might experience are pain, redness and swelling at the injection site.

Tetanus vaccine side effects
Frequently asked questions
  • After your primary childhood course, you need a tetanus booster every 10 years if you travel abroad.

  • If you’re travelling out of the UK you should be up-to-date with the UK national childhood  vaccination schedule; the vaccines are diphtheria, tetanus and polio and the MMR vaccine. If you’re visiting a country with limited medical facilities, a booster dose is generally recommended if your previous dose was more than 10 years ago. This tetanus booster will then last for 10 years.

  • If you've not completed your childhood schedule then you should do this before you travel. you should also get a booster if you've not had one in the last 10 years. 

     

    Tetanus is still common throughout the world but there are some regions where it’s still endemic (a disease that occurs regularly in an area or community). These include:

    • Eastern Europe 

    • The Middle East 

    • South America

    • Asia and the South Pacific

  • If the risk is significant the tetanus vaccine can be given in pregnancy but you seek expert advice first.

  • The incubation period for tetanus is 3- 21 days (average is 8 days) and you can’t get infected with contact from another person.

  • No. You can’t get infected with casual contact from another person. You’re at risk of infection if you have an open wound that gets contaminated with soil, manure or anything dirty in the environment.

Authors:

Dr Ravi Gowda, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine

MBBS, MRCP(UK), DTM&H, MRCGP, DCH, DRCOG, DFFP

Caitlin Lancaster, BSc

 

Resources:

  1. UK national immunisation programme

  2. Tetanus - Centers for Disease Control