How Long Is A Tetanus Shot Good For (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Ten Years

We live in a world where some things are inevitable in the true sense. It means that they can’t get avoided at any cost. Even if you try to think of everything you can do, like maintaining good health, eating good, and more, these things can still happen. One such thing is an illness or an accident.

When it comes to accidents, it always comes with unforeseen risks. That means you cannot predict it. The unpredictability makes it even more dangerous since you can’t know what can happen. Even a small cut can lead to a deadly infection like Tetanus which has no cure.

How Long Is A Tetanus Shot Good For?

Tetanus is not a disease that one can acquire and get medicines to get treated. It is an infection that you can contract upon a cut from an already infected sharp object. Getting cut sounds like nothing major could happen. You put a band-aid to it, or get stitches and be done. However, even a minor and simple cut, if not treated in time, can cause Tetanus.

It is a bacterial disease that can also get referred to as Lockjaw. It is correctly named Lockjaw as it impacts the jaw and neck muscles in an individual.

Tetanus causes a person to have spasms in their neck and jaw area. It does not sound that dangerous but can also prove to be life-threatening. Yes, it is that deadly. What makes it even worse is that there is no cure for Tetanus. The only thing that can help you is if you get vaccinated against it.

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Since the cases of this disease are so rare, people often don’t think much of it. Then, they fail to get vaccinated. Now, if they happen to come across an accident, some chances are that they may get a cut from an infected sharp object. After, they can contract Tetanus.

Usually, there are three doses of the vaccine. You will have to take the first and second dose four weeks apart. The third and final dose needs to get administered after a period of 6 to 12 months. That is after the 2nd dose. The effects last for good Ten years. After which, you can take booster shots.

VaccinationHow Long The Effects Last
First DoseFour Weeks
Second DoseSix to 12 Months
Three DoseTen years after the third shot
Booster shotsTen Years after every Booster Shot

Why Tetanus Shot Is Good For That Long?

Some diseases in the world have no cure. The only option you have is to keep it in control or try to prevent it. Whether you choose medicines or getting a vaccine, it is your choice. But you are still required to keep taking the medication or vaccines after some time to have the effects intact.

In the case of deadly and incurable diseases, medicines can only control a disease, meaning that it will not be fatal if you regularly take medication. The same is for vaccines. The reason is the medicines have effects that last only for some time. After a while, the effectiveness might start diminishing. The same is applicable for Tetanus Vaccines. 

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The reasons why the tetanus vaccines last only for ten years are as follows:

  • The effectiveness of medicine depends upon its formula and composition. The Tetanus vaccine gets formulated in a certain way, that the effects start wearing off after Ten years after all three vaccines get administered.
  • The second reason is the severity of the cut. Since you are safe for ten years, it may seem unnecessary to go further with other shots. But you never know when you get cut.

Conclusion

Sometimes small things can cause big problems. Tetanus is one of them. Just a single and minor cut leads you to have spasms or, worst case, death.

Hence, it is better to stay protected. Make sure to take your vaccines on time. Even the booster shots are important as the effects of the dose will last only for about ten years. You will have some level of protection after that, but it is always advisable to take proper precautions. Taking precautions is after all, better than regretting later.

References

  1. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/233093/WER8120_198-208.PDF
  2. https://europepmc.org/article/med/8854030
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