Tetanus Booster Administration by a Direct Primary Care Doctor in Orlando, FL
Do you remember the last time you had a tetanus shot? If not, chances are you’re due for booster administration to protect you against tetanus. Also known as lockjaw, tetanus is a life-threatening bacterial infection that affects the nervous system.
Usually, a tetanus infection occurs when a particular strain of bacteria (Clostridium tetani) found in soil, dust, and animal feces enters the skin through a deep puncture wound, such as an animal bite. Once inside the body, the growing bacteria produce a powerful toxin (tetanospasmin), which impairs the nerves that control the muscles. This can cause severe muscle stiffness and painful muscle contractions, especially in the neck and jaw, which can lead to difficulty breathing and respiratory failure.
Prevent Tetanus With a Booster Shot
While the risk of tetanus is high in developing countries, it is relatively low in the United States, and this is mainly due to the prevalence of the tetanus vaccine. For adults who received basic immunizations as children, the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommend tetanus booster administration every 10 years. Adults are typically given a combination tetanus vaccine, such as:
- Td — Provides protection against tetanus and diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nose and throat, leading to difficulty breathing and swallowing
- Tdap — Provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, a highly contagious respiratory infection also known as whooping cough
If you’re uncertain about your immunization record, it’s best to err on the side of caution. You can safely receive a Tdap vaccine at any time, regardless of when you had your last Td booster shot. Additionally, even if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you should still seek immediate medical attention if you have a deep or dirty wound, which may require antibiotic treatment.
If you have questions about tetanus booster administration, Optimum Direct Care has answers. Contact our direct primary care practice in Orlando, FL, to learn about our comprehensive membership-based services.