Behind this is the so-called tetanus. This is an infection caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which occurs worldwide. The bacterium hides in the soil, and even small wounds, scratches or bites with a splinter or thorn are enough for the bacterium to enter your body. The toxins secreted by the bacterium cause pronounced cramps and paralysis in the muscles by damaging the muscle-controlling nerve cells. At the beginning, the facial muscles are typically affected. If the toxin reaches the muscles of the larynx or the chest, this can lead to suffocation.
Even though tetanus cases are extremely rare in Germany thanks to high vaccination rates, vaccination protection is worthwhile. This is because the source of infection remains and even with early treatment, tetanus can still be fatal.
This vaccination is relevant for every age group. The build-up of vaccination protection against tetanus (basic immunisation) usually takes place in childhood.
Booster vaccinations for adults with complete basic immunisation should be given every 10 years, possibly earlier after injuries. This is usually done in combination with diptheria, possibly also with pertussis and polio.
The tetanus vaccination is an inactivated vaccine and is usually given as a combination vaccination. The vaccination is administered into the upper arm muscle.
The vaccination is well tolerated. Very often, the stimulation of the body's own defences causes redness or swelling at the injection site, which may also hurt. Rarely, general symptoms such as an increase in temperature, chills, fatigue, muscle aches or gastrointestinal complaints may occur in the first three days after vaccination. Such vaccination reactions usually subside after one to three days.
To check whether you have been vaccinated, simply make an appointment for a vaccination status check at one of our Avi Medical practices and talk to our medical team. They will advise you in detail whether you are already protected or whether you should receive a vaccination. The doctors will also check whether there are other vaccinations that would be useful for you and will carry these out directly if necessary.