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The Td vaccine is a powerful defense against two potentially life-threatening diseases: tetanus and diphtheria. In this article, we will explore the importance of the Td vaccine, when you need to get a shot and how MedExpress can help.


What is the Td Vaccine?

Td stands for tetanus and diphtheria, the two infections this vaccine protects you from. It’s similar to the Tdap vaccine, which is used to keep patients safe from diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

What is the difference between the Td and Tdap vaccines? The Td vaccine is for patients who have had a negative allergic reaction to the whooping cough part of the Tdap vaccine.1

Can children get the Td vaccine? No. The Td vaccine is only for patients who are seven years and older and adults. Children younger than seven years old should get either DTaP or Dt vaccine instead.

Who should get this vaccine? If you didn’t get the Tdap vaccine as a child, you should receive a dose of either the Tdap or Td vaccine. If you did, you should get a Td booster or Tdap booster every ten years.2

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What is a Tetanus Shot?

There are four vaccines that help protect against tetanus and other diseases:3

Offered at MedExpress

  • Tdap: Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Preteens should get one shot of Tdap between the ages of 11 and 12 years old. Adults should get one shot every ten years. Learn more about the Tdap vaccine.
  • Td: Tetanus and diphtheria: This is similar to Tdap minus the vaccination for pertussis (whooping cough). Preteens should get one shot of Td between the ages of 11 and 12 years. Adults should get one shot every ten years.

Not offered at MedExpress (we do not offer vaccines to children younger than 4 years of age)

  • DTap: Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). This vaccine is for children from two months to six years old.
  • DT: Diphtheria and tetanus. This is like DTaP minus the vaccination for pertussis (whooping cough). It is also for children from two months to six years old.

Any of these four shots (DTap, DT, Tdap, TD) are technically "a tetanus shot."

How often should you get a Td vaccination? To maintain your immunity, you should get a Tdap or Td shot every ten years. This is what is often referred to as a “tetanus booster.” You may also get a Tdap or Td shot every five years if you have suffered from a severe or dirty wound or burn.4

Who shouldn't get a Td vaccination? Talk to your provider if you have experienced any of the following:

  • Severe, life-threatening allergies
  • An allergic reaction after a previous dose of any tetanus or diptheria vaccine
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
  • Severe pain or swelling after a previous dose of any tetanus or diptheria vaccine

If you have a minor illness such as a cold, you can still be vaccinated. If you are moderately or severely ill, you should recover before receiving your vaccination. Check with your provider for more information.

Beyond the vaccine, you can also help prevent tetanus infection by practicing good wound care. That means applying first aid to even minor, non-infected wounds, blisters, scrapes or skin breaks. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if handwashing isn’t possible.5


1. CDC. Diptheria, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough Vaccination What Everyone Should Know. Last updated September 6, 2022. Acccessed September 28, 2023.

2. CDC. Tetanus Vaccination. Last updated April 14, 2023. Accessed September 28, 2023.

3. CDC. Tdap/Td Vaccines. Accessed September 28, 2023.

4. CDC. Td (Tetanus, Diptheria) VIS. Last updated August 6, 2021. Accessed September 28, 2023.

5. CDC. Tetanus Prevention. Last updated August 29, 2022. Accessed September 28, 2023.

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