Q:

Do I need a tetanus shot if I step on a nail that is not rusty?

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Quick Answer

A prophylactic tetanus shot is recommended for people who have any type of wound and a history of receiving less than three adsorbed tetanus toxoid vaccines. Tetanus prophylaxis is also recommended for people who have an unknown vaccination history, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Full Answer

Different tetanus vaccine formulations are available in the United States; their administration depends on a number of factors such as age and allergies. For small and clean cuts, children younger than 7 years receive the DTaP vaccine. For children between the ages of 7 and 9 years, Td is preferred. People older than 10 years receive the Tdap vaccine. Prophylaxis for all other wounds consists of administration of human tetanus immune globulin, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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