Tetanus (lockjaw) and diphtheria are very serious diseases.
Tetanus is caused by a bacterial infection as a result of a wound, scratch, or cut. Tetanus causes painful tightening of the muscles throughout the body and stiffness of the neck and head so the mouth can’t open, swallowing becomes difficult, and difficulty breathing can happen. Tetanus infections kill about one out of every ten people who are infected.
Diphtheria is also caused by bacteria it is spread through coughing and sneezing. The disease causes a thick gray membrane that coats the back of the throat and tonsils. Diphtheria causes sore throat and can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, and even death.
The TD vaccine is administered to adolescents and adults to protect from tetanus and diphtheria infections. A TD booster shot is usually given every 10 years. The TD vaccine may be administered at the same time as other vaccinations.