January 31, 2022

The Tetanus Vaccine – Should You Get it in Coventry Before Travelling?


A pharmacist holding a tetanus vaccine

Tetanus is a rare and serious condition where bacteria infect a wound. A good number of tetanus cases arise due to a lack of vaccination or an incomplete vaccination programme. It’s important to be aware of tetanus and its vaccination before travelling abroad. Continue reading to find out more about the tetanus vaccine in Coventry.

How do you get tetanus?

Tetanus is usually found in soil and animal manure and can survive outside the body for a long time.

The bacteria can enter the body via a wound and spread fast while producing a toxin that interferes with the nerves, resulting in spasms and muscle stiffness.

Tetanus can access your body through:

– Grazes and cuts
– Burns
– Skin tears or splits
– Body tattoos, injections, and piercings
– Animal bites
– Injection of contaminated drugs
– Eye injuries

Tetanus cannot move directly from one person to the other.

A woman talking to a child scratched by a bicycle

Symptoms of tetanus

Tetanus symptoms usually begin to show around 4 to 21 days from the time of exposure.

The main symptoms of tetanus are:

– High temperature
– Painful muscle spasms, making breathing and swallowing difficult
– Lockjaw/ stiffness in the jaw muscles, leading to difficulties in opening your mouth
– Increased heartbeat
– Sweating

These symptoms may worsen if you don’t seek medical attention.

How to treat tetanus – Can the tetanus vaccine in Coventry help?

Thorough cleaning of your wound will be the first step your pharmacist or doctor will take in case they suspect you have tetanus, even when you don’t show symptoms. You may also be injected with tetanus immunoglobulin.

If you have not been fully vaccinated against tetanus or aren’t certain you have, it’s advisable to get the tetanus vaccine. The main course of treatment for tetanus is antibiotics.

A woman holding a world map

Tetanus vaccine in Coventry

The tetanus vaccine is provided under the NHS childhood vaccination programme.

The full vaccination programme involves five injections, normally administered in the following arrangement:

– As part of the 6-in-1 vaccine, doses 1, 2 and 3 are administered at ages 8, 12, and 16 weeks respectively.
– A booster dose is provided at the age of 3 years and 4 months as part of the 4-in-1 pre-school booster.
– As part of the 3-in-1 teenage booster, the last dose is given at the age of 14 years.

You should be able to achieve long-term protection against tetanus through this programme of 5 injections. However, it’s best to seek medical attention in case of deep or dirty wounds, even if vaccinated.

Tetanus travel vaccine in Coventry

Ensure you get your full vaccination before travelling abroad, considering you can find tetanus anywhere all over the world.

It would be best to get in touch with your pharmacist for further guidance if you have plans to visit another country and haven’t received full tetanus vaccination or you are visiting a region with limited access to medical facilities. You will get the 3-in-1 teenage booster vaccine. The injection is normally free on the NHS and provides protection against polio and diphtheria as well.

If you’ve never been vaccinated against tetanus before, you may be required to have a number of doses before travelling. The doses should be at least one month apart. You can complete the programme when you return in case you don’t have enough time for all the doses.

Contact us today to get your tetanus vaccine in Coventry!

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This blog post was written on behalf of The Travel Health Clinic by Pharmacy Mentor.