Tetanus Vaccine Can Last For 30 Years – Study

Tetanus Vaccine Can Last For 30 Years – Study
Tetanus Shot Time Blake Patterson / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommend that one should get a tetanus booster once every 10 years, but a new study claimed that the immunity that one gets from a tD vaccine or tetanus shot, in particular, can last for at least 30 years.


A team of scientists from the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) has found that tD vaccines provide an optimum level of protective immunity against tetanus and diphtheria for more than CDC’s 10-year recommendation.

A report from the Forbes showed that, Mark Slifka, a professor from OHSU and the lead researcher for the study, calculated the half-life of the tD vaccine for both diseases. The team found that the same vaccine has a different half-life for each tetanus and diphtheria: 14 years for tetanus and 27 for diphtheria.

According to the CDC, tetanus, or commonly referred to as lockjaw, is caused by bacteria Clostridium tetani, while diphtheria is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtherae. Both diphtheria and tetanus are vaccine preventable diseases.

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With this estimate of the vaccine’s half-life, Slifka and his team examined the blood samples of 546 adult participants for the study where it showed that 97 percent of the participants’ antibody showed a high level of protective immunity against the two strains of bacteria that tD vaccine was made to provide protection against.

This means that the level of protection that the researchers have found from the participants’ blood is enough for at least the double of the established half-life for each strain of bacteria. That’s a total of high protective immunity to tetanus for roughly 30 years and roughly 55 years for diphtheria.

“You want to make sure your child gets the full vaccination series because by doing that, you’re giving protection long into adulthood. The idea is to go through the full vaccination series and by getting the childhood vaccinations as scheduled, you now have that bonus of having fewer vaccinations as an adult,” Slifka was quoted as saying by the Forbes.

Slifka’s study, which was published in Oxford Journals of Clinical Infectious Diseases, aims to provide research-backed evidences to further reexamine and revisit the timing of tD boosters after receiving a tetanus shot.

Also Read: Finally, A Vaccine For Dengue?

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