Vaccination and good wound care are important to help prevent tetanus infection. Doctors can also use a medicine to help prevent tetanus in cases where someone is seriously hurt and doesn’t have protection from tetanus vaccines.
This graphic highlights CDC’s tetanus vaccination recommendations for young children, preteens, and adults.
Being up to date with your tetanus vaccine is the best tool to prevent tetanus. Protection from vaccines, as well as a prior infection, do not last a lifetime. This means that if you had tetanus or got the vaccine before, you still need to get the vaccine regularly to keep a high level of protection against this serious disease. CDC recommends tetanus vaccines for people of all ages, with booster shots throughout life. Learn who needs a tetanus vaccine and when.
Immediate and good wound care can also help prevent infection.
- Don’t delay first aid of even minor, non-infected wounds like blisters, scrapes, or any break in the skin.
- Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if washing is not possible.
- Consult your doctor if you have concerns and need further advice.
- Tetanus Vaccination
- Podcast: Preventing Tetanus after a Disaster
- Recommendations for Postexposure Interventions to Prevent Infection with Hepatitis B Virus, Hepatitis C Virus, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, and Tetanus in Persons Wounded During Bombings and Other Mass-Casualty Events — United States, 2008