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Information update – Tetanus immunisation

Information update – Tetanus immunisation


The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a 3-dose primary vaccination series with tetanus-diphtheria containing vaccine followed by 3 booster doses. The 3-dose primary series should begin as early as 6 weeks of age, with subsequent doses given with a minimum interval of 4 weeks between doses. The 3 booster doses should preferably be given during the second year of life (12-23 months), at 4-7 years, and at 9-15 years of age. Ideally, there should be at least 4 years between booster doses.

Our National Immunisation Schedule in SVG is as follows:

  • Birth: BCG (Tubercolosis) and Birth Dose Hepatitis B
  • 2 months: 1st Dose of Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis, Hepatitis B and Hemophilus influenzae and Polio
  • 4 months: 2nd Dose Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Hepatitis B and Hemophilus influenzae and polio
  • 6 months: 3rd Dose Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Hepatitis B and Hemophilus influenzae and Polio
  • 1 year: Mumps Measles and Rubella (MMR)
  • 18 months: 1st Booster Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT), Polio and 2nd Dose of MMR
  • 4 + years: 2nd Booster Diphtheria and Tetanus and 2nd Booster Polio
  • 10+ Years: 3rd Booster Tetanus & Diphtheria

Adults who received five doses of Tetanus Vaccine are not recommended any further dose of tetanus toxoid as the incidence of tetanus in a fully immunized individual occurs only in exceptional rare circumstances. There is therefore little justification for boostering with tetanus vaccine beyond the recommended 5 doses (received by age 10+ Years).

Tetanus immune globulin (not tetanus toxoid) provides immediate, short-term protection against the bacteria that causes tetanus. Tetanus immune globulin is given if there is a patient with a known tetanus prone wound that is heavily contaminated and to patients with impaired immunity who have a tetanus prone wound and may not respond to Tetanus vaccine. Tetanus immune globulin is in stock.

From EPI Manager through the Office of the Chief Medical Officer