Q:

What is the tetanus vaccine?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the tetanus vaccine protects recipients from contracting tetanus. Tetanus vaccines are typically given as a combination vaccine that includes a vaccine for diphtheria and/or pertussis.

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Full Answer

The CDC explains that common tetanus vaccines include DTaP, Tdap, TD and Td. DTaP and DT are given to children under 7 years of age, while Tdap and Td are used for children over 7 and adults.

According to Vaccines.gov, tetanus is a bacterial infection that can cause tightening of the jaw muscles, which gives tetanus the nickname "lockjaw." Patients who contract tetanus generally do so by receiving an abrasion or cut that comes into contact with the tetanus bacteria, allowing it to enter the system. It is recommended that children under the age of 7 receive the vaccine to prevent them from contracting the disease.

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