Td Adsorbed: How To Prevent Tetanus and Diphtheria Infections

April 12, 2023

Fortunately, tetanus and diphtheria are not common issues in Canada. This is, in large part, due to the regular immunization of infants against these diseases and readily available booster shoots. Td Adsorbed is one of the vaccines that prevent this harmful bacteria from taking hold in your body.

Unfortunately, tetanus and diphtheria are still present around the world. In 2021, the World Health Organization reported 9,801 cases of global tetanus infections and 8,639 cases of diphtheria. Thus, proper diphtheria and tetanus immunization is no less important now than it ever was.

In this article, we will discuss the Td Adsorbed vaccine, including recommendations regarding it and potential side effects, where you can get it, as well as give a quick overview of other Td vaccines and the diseases themselves. So, let’s get started.

What Are Tetanus and Diphtheria? 

Tetanus, colloquially called lockjaw, is a serious infection caused by neurotoxins from the bacteria Clostridium tetani. Spores of the bacteria may be found everywhere, including soil, dust, or even in animal and human intestines.

Tetanus is most commonly introduced into the human body through cuts, but it can also happen through injections and animal bites. Tetanus causes muscle cramping, typically starting with the jaw muscles. If left untreated, it can cause serious complications and even death.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheria. It often affects the nose and the throat and can cause issues with swallowing, breathing, heart or nerve damage, and can even lead to death, if untreated.

The bacteria can be transmitted from an infected person through coughing or sneezing. A person may also become infected if they handle the same household items that an infected person uses. Diphtheria is treatable with medication.

Both of these diseases are preventable with the diphtheria and tetanus vaccine.

How Does the Tetanus and Diphtheria Vaccine Work? 

The combined tetanus and diphtheria vaccine stimulates your body to produce antibodies that fight tetanus and diphtheria which will fight any future infections. Very small components of the bacteria and toxins are introduced via the vaccine – the bacteria is not alive and the toxins are detoxified – but still enough to get your body to create the antibodies.

However, the antibodies created from the vaccine do not last forever. Thus, it is recommended to take a booster dose of the Td Adsorbed vaccine every 10 years.

People That Are Recommended Vaccination

It is highly recommended for almost everyone to get vaccinated against tetanus and diphtheria, unless you suffer from severe allergic reactions to the vaccine. In fact, vaccination against tetanus and diphtheria is part of the routine immunization and children in Canada.

Combination DTaP vaccines (the combined diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine) are typically given to children aged 2, 4, 6, and between 12-23 months of age. A booster dose is given between the ages of 4-6 and then another diphtheria and tetanus booster every subsequent 10 years later.

The vaccine is also provided as post-exposure prophylaxis in some situations. Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, is HIV medication taken within 72 hours of potential exposure to the virus as a means of containing it.

Vaccination against tetanus and diphtheria is one of the main reasons that these infections are not a serious threat in Canada.

Td Adsorbed Vaccine Recommendations

The combination Td Adsorbed vaccine is not intended for children below the age of 7. The DTaP vaccine is recommended in such cases. Children over 7 that have not gone through routine immunization are recommended the Td Adsorbed vaccine, as well as unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated adults, and people that have not taken the vaccine in the last 10 years.

Additionally, there is new evidence indicating that a booster dose of the Td vaccine may not be required every 10 years. However, the literature has not been fully reviewed and the Public Health Agency of Canada still recommends a booster dose every 10 years.

Potential Side Effects

People may experience certain side effects as a result of the vaccine. The side effects are typically mild and may include:

  • Tenderness, redness, or pain at the injection site
  • Fever
  • Sore joints
  • An allergic reaction to some elements of the vaccine

If you start showing signs of an allergic reaction after taking the diphtheria and tetanus shot, like swelling in the face or throat, itching and rashes, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately. Most people do not experience any side effects, but you could be at serious risk if you have an allergic reaction and do not contact a physician.

Consequently, it is recommended that you stay at the doctor’s office or pharmacy where you got your Td Adsorbed shot for 15-30 minutes after getting it. The medical staff is trained to spot signs of an allergic reaction and how to react to it.

Where Can You Get a TD Vaccine in Toronto?

Children over 7 years of age, unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated adults, or adults that require a booster dose can get the Td Adsorbed vaccine at Everest Whole Health Pharmacy in Toronto. You can easily book a Td vaccine appointment at our pharmacy online and get it done as you go about your day.

If you have any questions about your vaccine schedule, potential contraindications, or any other worries about getting the Td Adsorbed vaccine, contact us and our medical experts will answer any questions you may have.

About the Author: Remtulla Kumail

Hi there, my name is Kumail Remtulla and I'm a pharmacist with over 10 years of experience in both the UK and Canada. I grew up in Toronto, Ontario and decided to pursue my pharmacy degree in the UK back in 2004. After graduating, I worked for Boots UK for 5 years before moving back to Toronto in 2015. Once back in Canada, I completed the pharmacy bridging program and continued working as a pharmacist.