History of tetanus vaccination

Time since last dose

Type of wound

DTPa, DTPa combinations, dT, dTpa, as appropriate

Tetanus immunoglobulin

≥3 doses

<5 years

Clean, minor wounds

No

No

≥3 doses

<5 years

All other wounds

No

No (unless person has immunodeficiency)a

≥3 doses

5–10 years

Clean, minor wounds

No

No

≥3 doses

5–10 years

All other wounds

Yes

No (unless person has immunodeficiency)a

≥3 doses

>10 years

Clean, minor wounds

Yes

No

≥3 doses

>10 years

All other wounds

Yes

No (unless person has immunodeficiency)a

<3 doses or uncertainb

Uncertain

Clean, minor wounds

Yes

No

<3 doses or uncertainb

Uncertain

All other wounds

Yes

Yes

a.Give tetanus immunoglobulin to people with a humoral immune deficiency and people with HIV (regardless of CD4+ count) if they have a tetanus-prone injury. This is regardless of the time since their last dose of tetanus-containing vaccine.

b. People who have no documented history of a complete primary vaccination course (3 doses) with a tetanus-containing vaccine should receive all missing doses and must receive tetanus immunoglobulin for tetanus-prone wounds. See Catch-up vaccination.

Source: Cox et al,6 Fraser,7 Lucas and Willis,8 McComb,9 Smith et al,10 Trinca11

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Last updated: 
5 June 2018
Last reviewed: 
5 June 2018

Definitions

DTPa
diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine
dT
diphtheria-tetanus vaccine for use in adults
dTpa
diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine, reduced antigen content formulation