Hayley's Healthy Habits: The Importance of the Tetanus Booster

May 31, 2024

The following article was written by Hayley Jackson, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC. A board-certified family nurse practitioner, Hayley provides Express Care Services at Wood River Health. She is passionate about holistic patient-centered care, lifestyle medicine and women’s health.

Among the many conditions that exist, tetanus is at the top of the list of those you would never want to get. This disease is caused by a bacteria called clostridium tetani that enters the skin through a wound (such as stepping on a nail or a cut).

This bacterium commonly lives in soil and on the surface of rusted objects. When the bacteria gets into the skin—especially deeply, it starts to produce a toxin that causes severe muscle spasming. This results in an all-too-often fatal disease process.

Now that the bad news is out of the way….there is very good news: This is 100% preventable.

Tetanus is preventable by staying up to date with the tetanus vaccine. This is recommended to get once every 10 years (or sooner if you suffer a particular injury). If you cannot remember when your last booster was, it is safe to get another booster even if it was sooner than the ten-year mark—especially if you have suffered a high risk injury.

Here at Wood River Health, we offer nurse appointments where we can administer vaccines if you are due. Tetanus is a great vaccine to ask about at your next yearly physical!