Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Public Health

pp 1387-1387

Tetanus Vaccination

Synonyms

Tetanus immunization

Definition

Tetanus vaccination, which was introduced in 1927, can be administered from three months of age. For active inoculation leading to basic immunization, 2 vaccines (or 3 in the case of concomitant pertussis vaccination) with inactivated toxins are necessary at intervals of at least four weeks, plus a further vaccination after 4–12 months. In general, the first booster is given at the age of 5–6 years. Further boosters should follow over the whole lifetime at intervals of 10 years. The vaccine can be administered alone (monovalent) or in combination with other vaccines, especially diphtheria toxoid. Tetanus vaccination leads to 99% disease protection. Vaccinations are also possible during pregnancy. Passive tetanus vaccination with tetanus immunoglobulins is implemented immediately following injury if medical history is not available or if immunization has either not taken place or is incomplete. In such cases, simultaneous immunizati ...

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