This two-in-one vaccination protects against tetanus and diphtheria. These diseases are easily prevented with vaccination.
What is tetanus (lockjaw)?
- Caused by a germ that can be found anywhere, but usually in dirt, dust and feces (poop)
- Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches, or wounds
- Is not spread person to person
- Causes painful muscle cramping and muscle spasms
- Kills 1 out of every 5 people who get it
What is diphtheria?
- An infection caused by a germ that spreads to other by coughing and sneezing
- Symptoms include sore throat, fever, difficulty swallowing, and loss of appetite
- Can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and death
- Kills 1 out of every 10 people who get it
Who should get Td vaccine?
- Adults who have already had a tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine during adulthood and have not had a booster shot in the past 10 years
- Based on a doctor’s judgment, a Td booster may be needed if the last Td containing vaccine was given more than 5 years ago and a person gets an injury that could lead to tetanus
Talk to your doctor/public health nurse if you:
- Had a bad reaction to a vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine, or have any other allergies
- Are pregnant
- Take medications or have any diseases that lower the immune system or increase bleeding
- Feel very sick
What if a needle is missed?
- Get the next needle as soon as possible
- If you didn’t follow the routine immunization schedule a "catch-up" schedule will be recommended
What if I decide not to be immunized?
Choosing not to be immunized or delaying immunization puts you/your child at risk of getting sick with tetanus and/or diphtheria.
Is Td vaccine safe?
Yes! You may have no reaction or mild symptoms that include:
- Redness, swelling, and pain where the needle went in
- Low fever
- Children may become fussy or sleepier than usual;
These normal reactions usually last between 12 and 24 hours.
When should I call my doctor?
Serious reactions after vaccination are very rare. Get immediate medical help if you/your child have any unusual symptoms such as:
- trouble breathing, swelling in your face/mouth and/or blotchy skin (hives)
- fever above 40°C (104°F);
- crying or fussing for more than 24 hours;
- worsening swelling, redness, and/or pain where the needle went in;
- unusual sleepiness (difficult to wake)
You know best. If you notice anything that is not normal after a vaccination, check with your healthcare provider.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
- Make sure to update your immunization record
- Notify the Health Unit each time your child receives a vaccine by phone (519-753-4937 ext. 451) or
Public Health Agency of Canada (Canadian Immunization Guide),
Publicly Funded Schedules for Ontario (March 2015)
This information is for general knowledge only and does not replace professional medical advice. Please note there is a cost for immunizations that are not included in
Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule. For more information contact us at 519-753-4937 ext. 492 or