Tetanus & TdaP Shots
Overview – Tetanus Shot
No matter how young or old you are, a tetanus shot can help protect you and your family against serious infections and diseases that could otherwise be life-threatening. At the iCare ER & Urgent Care in North Frisco and Fort Worth, TX, we offer vaccines to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis to infants, children, and adults. No appointment is needed for vaccinations. Using tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis toxins that have been rendered nontoxic, the TdaP vaccine creates an immune response that prevents the toxins from having an effect later on or prevents the toxin from spreading immediately after a wound or cut is opened. Depending on the age and medical history of the patient, your physician at iCare will decide which combination of tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccines is right for you.
How It Works
Tetanus is a bacterial infection that enters the body through cuts, wounds, animal bites, burns, or injections with unsterilized needles. When the body encounters the tetanus bacteria, muscles begin to spasm, making it difficult or impossible to breathe or open the mouth (also known as “lockjaw”).
Diphtheria is an airborne respiratory disease that spreads through sneezing and coughing. It can be just as life threatening as tetanus. Diphtheria will cause fever, sore throat, weakness, and, in some cases, heart failure and paralysis.
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is contracted through contact with another person who is infected. If you come into contact with someone with whooping cough, you should know that person will be highly contagious for several weeks. In the initial stages, pertussis will present symptoms like a runny nose, low-grade fever, sneezing, and chest congestion. Then, it will progress into severe coughing fits where the infected person makes a loud “whooping” sound between coughs.
Administering the Vaccinations
Infants should have the TdaP vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, a year and a half, and one more before entering kindergarten (4 – 6 years of age) as required for school enrollment. If you have a preteen or teenager, a TdaP shot is appropriate but preferable from 11 – 12 years of age. Older teens may still need to have a Tdap if it was not administered in the early teen years. Adults should have a tetanus booster shot every 10 years to prevent these illnesses. It is very important to keep your immunization and vaccine records up to date, and at iCare, we try to make the process as easy as possible.
What to Expect – Tetanus Shot
When you visit iCare to get any kind of vaccine, our skillful physicians will take care of you in urgent care. After asking about your medical history and conducting a quick physical exam to make sure that you are a good candidate for the TdaP, one of our medical practitioners will clean and prep the skin and inject the TdaP vaccine through a thin needle. After you have received the vaccine, our staff will make sure that you do not experience an allergic reaction. You may wait either in the exam room or in the waiting room for about 20 minutes.