Tetanus

Vaccination programmes are made available to employees at risk from harmful bacteria and viruses in the workplace.

Bacteria found in the soil or manure release a toxin. This tetanus toxin can enter the body through open cuts and burns. The symptoms of tetanus usually start off with pain muscle spasms and can be fatal in some cases. The illness can be prevented by immunisation.

Tetanus immunisation is recommended for employees who work closely with animals, animal tissue, soil, and/or may sustain skin cuts/abrasions or animal bites.

The vaccination is usually a combined vaccine with other vaccines. There is no tetanus only vaccine currently available on the market.

The tetanus vaccine is part of the Irish childhood immunisation program. Primary immunisation for infants consists of 3 doses at 2, 4 and 6 months old, a booster dose is given at 4-5 years of age, and a final booster at 11 – 14 years. A booster dose can be given every 10 years in adulthood for the risk individuals although it is thought that receiving 5 doses confers lifelong immunity. A primary immunisation schedule will not be given by the CSOHD unless the individual specifies they have not received their childhood vaccinations.