Side Effects of the Tetanus Vaccine

Updated March 23, 2017

Although any vaccination, including the tetanus vaccine, can cause side effects, in most cases these reactions are minor and temporary. The risk of getting Tetanus, a nervous system disease that is potentially deadly, is far more dangerous than getting the tetanus vaccine. The risk of serious harm or death from the tetanus vaccination is very small according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Common Reactions

Injection site reactions frequently occur and include redness, swelling and bruising. Soreness at the injection site is a common reaction.

Mild Side Effects

Mild tetanus shot side effects that occur one to three days after the vaccination include fever, fussiness, tiredness, poor appetite and in some cases vomiting.

Moderate Side Effects

Moderate side effects of the tetanus shot include seizure, non-stop crying and a fever of 40.6 degrees Celsius or above. According to the CDC, these side effects are uncommon.

Severe Side Effects

Severe allergic reactions include permanent brain damage, long-term seizures, lowered consciousness and coma. These reactions are very rare; occurring less than one out of a million vaccinations says the CDC.

Treating Side Effects

Common and mild side effects can be treated by over-the-counter medications as advised by a physician and in accordance with the package directions. For moderate and severe side effects, seek immediate medical attention.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Jean began writing professionally in 2000. She focuses her writing on tutorials and topics about health, nutrition, computers and Internet, personal finance and business. She writes healthy living, lifestyle and nutrition articles for various websites. Jean holds a Master of Business Administration and a cum laude Bachelor of Science in business administration, both from Duquesne University.