Skip to main content



Tetanus is caused by a bacteria that releases a powerful toxin (poison) into the body. It is a serious disease, which can be fatal even with medical treatment. In developed countries, such as the UK, tetanus is rare due to vaccination programmes, but it is found worldwide.

Vaccination options

Part of the standard UK vaccination schedule, a booster is offered to travellers combined with diphtheria and polio.

Level of protection: ~ 95-100%

Protection duration: 10 years.

How is it given: Single booster injection.

Ideally start: Booster is suitable for last minute travellers.

£35.00 Pricing shown is per dose

  • Symptoms Symptoms include fever, stiffness of the jaw (“lockjaw”), muscles in the back, trunk, hands and feet becoming rigid, followed by painful spasms. Breathing muscles can be affected.
  • How do you catch tetanus? Cells produced by the bacteria (spores) are present in soil, manure and occasionally in injected drugs and enter the body through a wound or break in the skin.
  • Incubation period 3 – 21 days
  • Diagnosis As there may not be a noticeable wound, diagnosis is made based on the symptoms. Some laboratory tes


Clean all wounds with soap and water. Seek medical advice even if vaccinated, in case antibiotics are needed. A booster vaccine can be given to travellers who have had the primary UK childhood schedule. It comes as a combined vaccination with diphtheria and polio.


Hospital treatment is required, in intensive care. Tetanus and other vaccinations are given

  • Even a minor wound has the potential to be infected with tetanus.
  • The main form of tetanus in less-developed countries occurs in new-born babies.
  • Complications of tetanus include bone fractures, breathing difficulties and death.
Back to Disease Directory