Why And When Is The Tetanus Toxoid (TT) Vaccine Given During Pregnancy?

Tetanus Toxoid

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Pregnancy is a time of pampering and happiness, as it is a time of being extremely cautious. With so many changes happening inside you, there are always chances of contracting some or the other disease that may prove harmful to you and your baby.

One such risk is the chance of contracting a tetanus in pregnancy. The infection can be transmitted to the fetus and be life-threatening for both mother and baby. Therefore it is important to understand the steps to prevent and fight against the same, especially when you are pregnant.

What Is Tetanus?

Tetanus is a dangerous disease that is caused by toxins produced by the Clostridium tetani bacteria.

  • The tetanus bacteria permeate through any open wound in the body.
  • It can be as minor as a scratch or a deep cut, a burn puncture or an ulcer.
  • The deeper the wound, the more are the chances of an infection.
  • Tetanus directly impacts the nervous system of your body and can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Why Is Tetanus Given D
uring Pregnancy?

Staying up-to-date in the required immunization is very important during your pregnancy. There are numerous susceptible infections that your body is more vulnerable to at this stage.

  • Tetanus toxoid vaccination creates antibodies in your body.
  • This protects you and your developing baby from tetanus infection during the period of gestation and a few months after delivery.
  • It also prevents premature delivery.

[ Read : Flu Vaccine During Pregnancy ]

Are Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine During Pregnancy Safe?

Tetanus Toxoid in pregnancy is safe.

  • Many countries also distribute this vaccine to prevent neonatal tetanus.
  • According to WHO (World Health Organization), over 180,000 newborns and 30,000 women die every year from tetanus.
  • American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists aka ACOG recommends would-be mothers to follow a scheduled vaccine of tetanus toxoid.

[ Read : Tamiflu In Pregnancy ]

Protection Of Newborn Against Tetanus:

Tetanus Toxoid is prescribed during pregnancy for the following reasons:

  • This is to protect your growing baby inside and prevent any case of neonatal tetanus.
  • Tetanus toxoid can be safely administered during pregnancy. It should be given to the mother as early during pregnancy as possible.
  • If you complete the full basic course of vaccination during your pregnancy period, you will be immune against tetanus for at least the next 10 years. After that, a single booster will be enough to extend immunity for another 10 years.
  • These vaccinations are recommended during the period of gestation. This is because the antibodies can easily transmit to the developing baby through you. Thus, protecting your baby from any such infections.
  • Newborns are highly prone to tetanus. If you are not immune, chances of tetanus may heighten in your baby.

[ Read : Safe Drugs During Pregnancy ]

Vaccination Schedule During Pregnancy:

Here is a full chart of vaccination routine that you should follow during pregnancy if you have not taken any immunization against tetanus before:

1. Dose One: As soon as you discover you are pregnant, you should consult your doctor for the tetanus vaccination. One vaccine is not enough to provide you any protection for tetanus for any duration.

2. Dose Two: The second dose should be scheduled 6 to 8 weeks after the first dose. You can take the dose as early as 4 weeks after the first, but not before that. This will help build your immunization which will stay for approximately 1 to 3 years.

3. Dose Three: The third dose should be scheduled 6 to 12 months after the second dose. This should immunize your body for at least 5 years.

4. Dose Four: The fourth dose should be taken 5 years after dose three. You can take the fourth dose as early as 1 year after dose 3. This should protect your body for another 10 years.

5. Dose Five: 10 years after dose 4 you can schedule your 5th dose. You should at least wait for 1 year before you take the 5th dose. This is the final vaccine you will require and you will stay immune for all your childbearing age or possibly much longer.

It’s better to take precautions rather than worry in case something goes wrong. The medicine world has been developed for you and you have to take the most of it. Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor for any problem. Stay aware and stay healthy.

[ Read : Torch Infection In Pregnancy ]

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