The Urwin Pharmacy Group

Tetanus Travel Vaccine 

What is Tetanus? 

Tetanus is a vaccine-preventable disease caused by a toxin produced in the bacteria clostridium tetani and spores are found in soil throughout the world. The toxin that is released from the bacteria may then stack the nerves of the brain and spinal cord. Tetanus is not spread by person to person contact, tetanus-prone wounds include the following:

  • damaged tissue where there has been contact with soil or manure 
  • wounds containing foreign bodies
  • bone fractures with broken skin
  • wounds in people with bloodstream infections
  • certain animal bites and scratches

Tetanus symptoms usually start around 10 days after infection. Tetanus symptoms are usually associated with intense, painful contraction and spasm of skeletal muscles. It usually causes lockjaw (trismus) characterised by facial muscles spasm. Other signs and symptoms of tetanus include a stiff neck, forceful arching of the back, abnormal breathing and difficulty swallowing. Even with intensive medical support, death occurs in 10 to 20 percent of cases.

Tetanus Vaccine 

 Travellers should have completed or be up to date with a primary UK vaccine course according to the NHS vaccine schedule. If visiting countries where medical facilities may be limited, a tetanus booster dose vaccine is recommended if the last dose was more than ten years ago, even if five doses of vaccine have been given previously. Travellers are advised to get vaccinated two weeks before travel. 





Tetanus Prevention

It is very important that all travellers are aware of the risks of accidents while travelling. thoroughly clean all wounds and seek appropriate medical attention. Further vaccines and immunoglobulin treatment may be recommended.




What travel vaccinations do I need?

Speak to your expert Pharmacist at your local Urwin Pharmacy branch for current advice and recommendations.