Tetanus shots are given for healing of dog bites, deep wounds and for wounds inflicted by iron objects. This tetanus shot is basically an inactivated toxoid that is made by growing tetanus bacteria and then purifying and inactivating the resultant toxin. Tetanus shots are available as single vaccines; however it is usually given together with diphtheria vaccine. They are collectively referred to as DT and Td.
Another famous combination is DTaP and Tdap that includes tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccines. Tetanus shots are administered in the muscle of the body; usually in the arm or the thigh. It is important to store the tetanus vaccine in a refrigerator before giving it.
There are not many people who experience allergic reactions to tetanus shots. Sometimes, there are some people who show allergic reactions to tetanus shots with fever that is more than 102 F, severe headache or severe gastrointestinal problems. However, it is extremely rare to find people complaining of nervous system problems and allergic reactions to tetanus shots.
Occasionally, there may be cases of localized allergic reactions that constitute redness and swelling at the place of the injection. However, anaphylaxis which is life threatening and other allergic reactions to tetanus shots are very rare. At times there may be edema, erythema and swelling that are considered to be milder forms of allergic reactions to tetanus shots.
Other allergic reactions to tetanus shots include massive local reactions in people receiving multiple booster doses of toxoid that start within 2 to 8 hours of taking the injection. When the allergic reactions to tetanus shots are marked or the antitoxin levels are high, there may at times be an accompanying fever.
It is okay and advisable for most people to take tetanus shots on schedule. However, when the risks of the vaccination outweigh the benefits, you should not take the tetanus shots. Such people are those with life threatening allergic reactions to DTP, DTaP, Td, DT or Tdap vaccine.
Even those having severe allergic reactions to tetanus shots, and those who have gone into a coma or seizure within seven days of taking a dose of DTP or DTaP, are not advised to take tetanus shots. Moreover, in some people, the Thimerosal that is used as a preservative for tetanus shots can at times induce delayed type hypersensitivity in their bodies.
However, serum sickness-like illnesses are a rarity with people taking tetanus toxoid. Nevertheless, it is better to talk to your doctor if you have an allergy to latex, epilepsy, severe swelling and pain or any other nervous system problem.