TT stands for Tetanus Toxoid. TT also know as Tetanus vaccine is an inactive vaccine used for the prevention of Tetanus. A total of 6 doses are to be given that include five during childhood and one during adolescents. The booster dose of vaccination is also recommended if the person suffers any cut from rusted iron material within 48 hours. After the first 3 doses of the vaccine, the individual is usually said to be initially immune. Pregnant women are usually given 2 doses of the vaccination to prevent any chances of Neonatal Tetanus which can happen due to the unhealed Umbilical Stump cut mainly by using unsterile instruments. Tetanus vaccine is given alone or in conjugation with other vaccines that include diphtheria, pertussis vaccines( DTaP ). Severe allergic reactions are noted in very rare cases.
The Antiserum of Tetanus was developed by a group of German scientists which was lead by ‘Emil Von Behring’ in the year 1890. However, the Tetanus Toxoid vaccine was prepared in the year 1924. Initially, this vaccine was used for soldiers in war. This is WHO’s one of the most important vaccines that is considered as safest in the health care system.
Tetanus is caused by the bacteria clostridium Tetani. This is a disease affecting the nervous system. The bacterium produces two exotoxins among which one is a neurotoxin that causes the symptoms of Tetanus.
The symptoms of Tetanus begins gradually. The first symptom will be evident stiffness in the jaw( lockjaw ), with difficulty in swallowing followed by fever, headache with an increase in heart rate. The disease further progresses into muscle spasms and seizures like activity that is usually seen in nervous system disorders. The mortality rate is more among people of the age group 55 and above and also those who are not immunized before. The spasms continue for more than 3 weeks and complete recovery may take several months. The disease is not contagious by coming in contact with the infected person that usually happens in the case of virus since the causative agent of tetanus is bacteria. The infection can only take place if any open wound or cut comes in contact with the bacteria which permits the entry of the bacteria into the system. The incubation period varies from 3 to 21 days.
The TT vaccine has proved to be 100% effective against the Tetanus disease provided the initial dose of vaccination is taken. The immunization is of two types which are active and passive. Active immunization of TT is considered during infancy along with Diphtheria and acellular Pertussis( DTaP ) at the age of 2-3 months, 6 months, 15-18 months respectively, and then at the age of 5-6 years. The next dose of Tdap is given between 10-12 years of age. Research proves that vaccination is effective for longer than 10 years. The vaccination is available in the form of Quadrivalent, Pentavalent, and Hexavalent formulation with additional vaccines to avoid much discomfort.
Tetanus requires active immunization that forms artificial active immunity. The mode of action is by leading to active immunity by injecting the dead version of the disease, causing the immune system to respond thus producing antibodies. This is helpful in the later stages of life because the body’s immune system acts immediately if the disease enters the body later by producing the antibodies by recognizing the antigen.
The vaccination is necessary during the gestational period since it allows the fetus to receive the antibody. The vaccination is given between 26-36 weeks of gestational period.
1. What is the Time Limit for the Tetanus Injection?
Ans: The minimum time gap between the first two shots should be at least 4 weeks. The third shot should be given 7-12 months after the second shot. Booster shots are recommended every 10 years later on and also a booster shot is recommended if the person is wounded by any rusty iron material or animal bite.
2. Is Tetanus a Curable Disease?
Ans: The neurotoxin affects the nerves that control muscle movement. This causes severe muscle spasm causing difficulty in breathing, which can prove to be fatal. The mortality rate increases with age and the symptoms stay for more than 3 weeks. Tetanus is avoidable with proper immunization however, the treatment involves only easing the symptoms that will reduce after 3-4 weeks.
3. Can a Person Take a TT Injection After 48 Hours?
Ans: A booster dose is recommended within 48 hours of injury to those who are not up to date with their Tetanus immunization. High-risk injuries might also require Tetanus antitoxin.